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£36M funding to develop digital skills in Scotland

Scotland’s First Minister has announced a new digital growth fund worth £36M over the next three years to develop the digital skills.

As part of the Scottish Government’s drive to improve economic productivity, the investment will allow businesses to develop their employees’ digital skills in areas such as cyber security, data analytics and software engineering.

The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, revealed figures highlighting an increase of around 10% in Scotland’s productivity since 2007 and wants to use this progress as a platform for further development.

A shortage of digital skills has been identified as a major obstacle to increasing productivity and profitability, with an estimated additional 12,800 digital skills roles needed each year.

To tackle this issue, the Digital Growth Fund will provide loans to support up to 6,000 people to be trained in each of the next three years.

Mrs Sturgeon said: “Recent studies estimate that the economy needs 12,800 new workers with digital skills each year. Despite this, our last digital economy survey found that only around a quarter of businesses were doing anything to develop current employees’ digital technology skills.

“We need to change that. Scotland cannot afford to ignore this prize. That’s why we will now boost our support for digital skills.

She said the government would work with companies to help with the upfront costs of upskilling their workers to give “firms the freedom to invest in their staff and in their future.”

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