Jobs key to Scottish Government updated digital strategy

Written by Jenni Davidson on 27 March 2017 in News

The new five-year national digital strategy places digital at the heart of economic growth and public service reform

Digital transformation - Image credit: Fotolia

Plans to increase the number of digital jobs to 150,000 by 2021 have been outlined in the Scottish Government’s new digital strategy.

The updated strategy, ‘Realising Scotland’s Full Potential in a Digital World’, sets out how the Scottish Government intends to prioritise digital as part of economic growth and reformed public services.

It reiterates the commitment to ensuring that every premises in Scotland is able to access broadband speeds of at least 30Mbps by 2021, as well as committing to a new round of funding for community digital inclusion projects and expanding Scotland’s Digital Participation Charter.


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The adoption of open data standards across the public sector and improved data sharing are also among the actions, as well ensuring national infrastructure is secure against cyber attacks.

There is also a new Digital Growth Fund to address the current undersupply of digital skills, which was announced by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, at the recent SNP conference.

Launching the strategy, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution Derek Mackay said: “Digital is transforming the way we live.

“It is connecting us faster than ever before while putting more power into the hands of service users. There is a huge opportunity here and now to ensure that people, businesses and organisations across Scotland, are given the tools and skills they need to harness this potential.

“Our vision is for Scotland to become even more digitally competitive and attractive.

“By developing our existing workforce and increasing our digital capabilities across society and the business community, we will ensure that our citizens have the opportunity to improve their digital skills with everyone who wants to get connected able to do so, and public services designed by and for citizens that are secure.

“This will in turn will have a positive impact on growing our economy.”

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) welcomed the new strategy, but said progress “cannot come quickly enough”.

Andy Willox, FSB’s Scottish policy convener, said: “A government strategy document rarely excites small firms.

“But little is more important to Scotland’s business community than enhancing our country’s digital capabilities.

“This wide-ranging publication must be matched with political and entrepreneurial drive to swiftly deliver change.

“Scottish Government figures show 75 per cent of Scottish businesses believe digital technology is essential or important to their plans for growth.

“To achieve these ambitions, firms need access to the right skills and modern digital infrastructure – specifically broadband and mobile coverage. Progress on these fronts cannot come quickly enough.”

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