The recruitment window has opened today in Edinburgh for the 547 temporary census takers (enumerators) required for Scotland’s biggest population survey: the 2011 Census.

They will be part of a team of 5,800 census takers employed across Scotland to deliver questionnaires to the country’s 2.5 million households ahead of census day: Sunday 27 March 2011.

To date Scotland’s Census organiser, The General Register Office for Scotland (GROS), has recruited 22 regional managers, 170 district managers and 500 team leaders – including Paul Poplawski and Alastair Macintyre who are responsible for managing the Edinburgh East and Edinburgh West regions respectively.

Census takers make up the majority of the temporary workforce. In addition to delivering the questionnaires, they deal with questions from the public and follow-up on any household questionnaires which have not been returned. Participation in the census is required by law. Census takers play a key role in helping the public take part in the survey which produces the information that the government, local authorities and businesses require to understand the needs of each community.

This helps plan how billions of pounds worth of public services, including health, housing and transport, are deployed for the next 10 years. Census Director Peter Scrimgeour, who is responsible for leading the census programme, said: “We’ve had a good response to date, for our other field staff positions and we’re hoping for a similar positive reaction to this, our largest recruitment drive. “Census takers can come from a wide variety of backgrounds. The role can be quite appealing because of the flexibility offered in working the estimated 75 hours required between February and April.” The closing date for applications is 3 December. Further details about the recruitment process and available positions can be found at