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Scotland is a productive, cost competitive location for a range of business services and the quality of the Scottish workforce is internationally recognised.

The people of Scotland make up one of the best trained, and most reliable and cost-competitive workforces in the world.

Robert Glennie, Co-founder and Director of NewGalexy

Shared service centres and third party BPO operators undertake various functions in Scotland, such as finance, IT, HR and customer service.

These operations are resourced by one of the best trained, most reliable and cost competitive labour forces in the world.

With a world-renowned education system and a high ratio of graduates per capita of population, Scotland surpasses most countries of comparable size in Europe in terms of educational achievement.

In addition, Scottish salary costs are among the lowest in Europe and labour market regulations in the UK, including working hours, are the most flexible in Europe.

Global companies in Scotland include:

  • Shell Finance Operations Ltd
  • Capgemini
  • Eaton
  • Ceridian
  • Wipro
  • IBM
  • Concentrix
  • Ashurst
  • NewGalexy
  • Sykes
  • Capita

Academic excellence

Scotland is internationally acclaimed for its education system and high quality university graduates.

With 17 universities, Scotland has the highest concentration of universities in Europe – with four routinely featuring highly in global league tables. 

So it’s no surprise that Scotland produces thousands of highly qualified graduates every year.

Over  97,000 students successfully complete higher education courses in Scotland every year, resulting in 18% of the population having a degree equivalent qualification or above – higher than the rest of the UK. (Source Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and Scottish Funding Council (SFC))

And, in 2012-13, our universities produced over 19,000 graduates in business and administration studies, almost 4,000 law graduates and over 3,300 languages graduates.

Skills base

Business processing and customer service

Much of the sector’s growth and success can be directly attributable to a flexible, stable and motivated workforce with highly developed skills in a mature sector:

  • Over 215,000 are people employed within financial and business services ensuring a steady supply of highly skilled staff for the GBS sector
  • There are over 100,000 people employed in 500 call centres (Source: Contact Babel 2015)
  • Around 21,000 students graduate each year with specialisms in business administration and language skills - vital expertise for the sectors

Legal processing

With some of the UK’s largest law firms based in Scotland, the marketplace benefits from a wide range of skill sets at varying levels of experience.

While many legal firms across the UK have reduced their graduate intake, the number of graduates has remained steady, with Scottish law schools producing almost 4,000 graduates per year.

We believe the office will help to shape an alternative legal model and career structure in Scotland, benefiting from the high number of exceptional legal graduates.

Mike Polson, Senior Legal Manager at Ashurst

Combined with a large pool of labour at one or two year’s post qualification, this presents an excellent opportunity for legal support services functions and LPO providers alike:

  • There are over 12,600 qualified lawyers in Scotland, compared to 3,000 in Wales and 3,500 in Northern Ireland
  • There are over 23,000 people employed in legal activities in Scotland
  • Seven of the top law schools in the UK are in Scotland (Source: The Guardian University Guide 2013)


Scotland has a wide range of people with IT skills ranging from technical support to complex systems build and software programming:

  • The Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA) is one of the top 5 informatics clusters in the world, producing excellent graduates and providing a mechanism by which ten of Scotland’s software universities can engage with businesses and provide research via one access point.
  • The technology sector in Scotland employs around 110,000 people today across over 1000 businesses
  • There are approximately 5,000 graduates in disciplines with a specific ICT focus (Higher Education Statistics Agency 2013)
  • 12 of Scotland’s universities provide software specific courses
  • 54% of IT graduates go into software, compared to 46% in the rest of the UK

Our international reach

Bridging the time zones between the Americas and Asia, Scotland is perfectly positioned for ‘follow the sun’ international GBS/ BPO/shared centre activity. 

We're already home to many global and pan-European GBS centres due to the wealth of multilingual skills available.

Some 190,000 foreign nationals live in Scotland, many of them students, attracted by the high quality of life, particularly in the culturally exciting and thriving cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh.

That means we’ve got a ready supply of highly skilled people available and willing to work with your company with:

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  • Around 109,000 fluent language speakers, with 18,000 speaking two or more languages and 74% educated to degree level or above compared to the UK total of 57%
  • Over 3,300 language graduates each year, with a combination of language only qualifications and courses where a language is combined with other subjects
  • Approximately 12,570 individuals in Scotland are studying for degree level or above qualifications in languages in any given year, in either full or part time study
  • In 2012-13 there were 25,420 qualifications obtained by international students
  • Scotland boasts particular strengths in Western European business languages – French, German, Italian, and Spanish while Eastern European and Asian languages are also significantly represented and this resource is growing as these regions develop

Working regulations and salaries

Labour market regulations in the UK, including working hours, are the most flexible in Europe, and staffing costs are highly competitive.

Scottish salary costs, including indirect social wage costs such as employer national insurance are amongst the lowest in Europe.

You’ll find salary rates across the business services industry are competitive. In the legal services sector, for example, average salaries in Scotland are up to 50% lower than London and less than other UK regions like the south-west of England.

Ready to join us in Scotland?

Investing in Scotland is the right move for business services companies looking for a profitable global base for their operation.

We’ve got a range of support and assistance available to help your company enjoy a quicker return on your investment. Contact us to discuss your project:

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Find out how we can help you set up in Scotland

Read more about the GBS sector in Scotland