5.70 We wish to acknowledge forcefully that the contribution of Scottish higher education to the economic success of Scotland and the UK is due to the professionalism and dedication of the thousands of academic and other staff employed in higher education. The National Committee has made a range of recommendations about staffing issues which we wholeheartedly endorse. Annex H details the numbers and profile of staff in Scottish higher education providers. We wish particularly to draw attention to the lack of available data about non-academic and support staff in Scotland and strongly believe that this data should be collected in future. There are few staffing issues which are distinctive to Scotland and this section therefore considers these few in more detail whilst endorsing the findings and recommendations of the National Committee.
5.71 Demographic profiles of institutional staff are good and, as Table 2 at Annex H shows, it is only in the colleges of education where only 0.3 per cent of staff are less than 30 years of age, and 44.4 per cent are over 50, there may be indications of future logistical problems. In the institutions we visited, we encountered great enthusiasm and drive, on the part of staff, for their work.
Pay and conditions
5.74 A key issue for Scotland, as for the rest of the UK, is the need for pay and conditions of service to be more closely and explicitly linked. We therefore welcome the National Committee's recommendation for an independent review committee to report on the framework for delivering pay and conditions of service for all staff in higher education.
5.77 We are aware of the SHEFC Contract Research Staff Initiative which is aimed at promoting good practice in the career management of contract research staff, improving counselling and careers advice provision for contract research staff, developing an information register on contract research staff vacancies and facilitating the implementation of the requirements of the recent Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals CVCP/Research Council Concordat. We have noted that, through encouraging improved employment conditions, SHEFC intends that the Scottish higher education sector will develop a competitive edge in attracting and retaining the best researchers and thus help develop research quality and research income through making the sector attractive to research workers. We have commended this approach to the National Committee. We therefore propose that all staff should be integrated into staffing plans and should be eligible for personal and career development.