Skip to main content

Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-02162: Ruth Davidson (Edinburgh Central)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 26 August 2016

To ask the Scottish Government how many people it estimates are employed in the supply chain of the Scotch Whisky industry.

Answered by: Keith Brown 14 September 2016

The Scottish Government does not have disaggregated figures explicitly covering the supply chain of the 'whisky' industry. However, for the 'wines and spirits' industry, which is heavily dominated by the whisky industry, the Scottish Government Input-Output model estimates that there were around 9,000 full time equivalent (FTE) employees directly employed in 2013, supporting a further 9,200 FTEs in Scottish supply chain industries. If the re-spending of wages and salaries are taken into account (the induced effect), a further 6,700 FTEs are supported, giving a total of approximately 25,000 FTEs.

The Scottish Whisky Association also produce estimates of the economic impact of the whisky sector. Their latest report estimates that the industry employs around 10,800 people in Scotland directly in 2014, supporting a further 19,200 jobs in the Scottish supply chain and a further 6,800 through the re-spending of wages. This gives a total of approximately 36,800 employees.

The variation in the above estimates reflects differences in the estimation methodologies employed, the definition of the whisky industry and the time period used. The economic contribution of the whisky industry to the Scottish economy in future years will depend in part on the UK’s future relationship with the EU, a market worth over £1 billion to the sector. Prior to the referendum, the Scottish Whisky Association warned that the UK leaving the EU could put Scottish Whisky exports at risk.