Scotland's Economy

Scotland can capitalise on unprecedented growth of digital economy

Scotland's Digital Technology Sector
Written by Rhona Middler

The digital economy is growing at an unprecedented level but Scotland needs the talent to capitalise on this opportunity, according to new research commissioned by the Digital Technologies Skills Group.

Findings released today at the Action on Digital Skills in Scotland: Inspiring Initiatives event in Edinburgh, underlined the importance of the digital economy to Scotland.

The research has shown that Scotland’s digital technology businesses directly employ 60,100 people; 91,600 people are now employed in digital technologies roles across all sectors, with more than half of these employed in non-technology sectors such as financial services, creative industries and the public sector.

With rising demand and a shortage of skilled people to fill these roles, the average full-time salary in the digital technologies sector has increased to £37,400 from £28,000 in 2010, showing stronger growth than median full-time salaries in Scotland over the same period (+12 per cent).

Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn, who delivered the Ministerial address, said: “Digital Skills are not only essential to our inclusive growth – they are vital to economic development, internationalisation and innovation.

“We recognise that even with over 90,000 people working in digital technology roles across Scotland, businesses are still struggling to recruit staff with the digital skills that can help them to grow.

“The Scottish Government is committed to reducing the digital skills gap across all sectors in Scotland and the work of the digital skills partnership is a great example of how we can achieve this.”

Respondents to the research by the Digital Technologies Skills Group were generally positive about market conditions. There will be a strong demand for skills over the next year with two thirds of employers expecting to increase their staff.

About the author

Rhona Middler

Rhona was Business for Scotland's Engagement Executive and Events Manager.

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