Scotland tech sector expecting jobs boost amid industry growth
Scottish businesses are expected to begin a major employment drive following a period of increased exports which has pushed up sales, according to new research from ScotlandIS.
The trade body’s annual Scottish Technology Industry Survey has revealed a steadying financial position and an increasingly international approach from Scotland’s tech companies.
The survey found that in the coming year 83 per cent of companies expect to increase their workforce, a seven per cent increase on figures reported in the previous year's survey. None of the companies that took part anticipated job cuts, while just under two-thirds of the new jobs that are expected will be sourced in Scotland.
One of the factors believed to be driving the job boost is the demand for services internationally. The survey found that 87 per cent of Scottish tech companies are planning to or already exporting – the highest level since the beginning of the pandemic. It is a positive step, reversing a decline in imports reported last year.
North America and Europe remain the top two export markets outside of the UK for Scottish tech businesses.
Over 80,000 people in Scotland are already employed in the technology sector, and 15,600 new digital technology jobs are created annually.
Karen Meechan, CEO of ScotlandIS, said: “The skills shortage has long been a challenge for the Scottish tech sector, but it is now mission critical. If we cannot fill vacancies and source talented people, the potential for growth will be stymied. The Scottish economy can ill afford to let growth and opportunity slip through its hands when so many other sectors are struggling.”
She added: “A very positive outcome from this year’s survey is the way in which our tech sector has stabilised. A huge change was needed to cope with the ebbs and flows of the pandemic era, and that has now settled into more predictable and sustainable growth. Not only are more companies recording seven-figure turnovers, but more and more are also seeking to export their services outside of Scotland. The tech sector needs to export to grow so this is an encouraging sign for the future.”