Scottish Government called on to secure tech talent following CodeClan collapse
Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has called on the Scottish Government to secure Scottish tech talent and ensure that CodeClan is rescued after it fell into liquidation this month.
The Edinburgh MSP has warned that the collapse of the digital skills training agency will have an outsize impact on Scotland’s technological future.
Established in 2015 with Scottish Government seed funding with a focus on bridging the digital skills gap in Scotland as well as supporting a new generation of digital talent to learn the fundamentals of software programming, the company fell into financial difficulties after being “significantly” impacted by the pandemic.
Last week all staff were made redundant following the appointment of liquidators, Quantuma.
Cole-Hamilton has written to the wellbeing economy secretary Neil Gray to ask what support can be provided.
Cole-Hamilton said: “This closure is a blow to Scotland’s prospects as a tech powerhouse and one that could have an outsize impact on Scotland’s technological future.
“If you are serious about securing highly-skilled, high-wage jobs both from established firms and from start-ups then Scotland cannot simply rely on importing tech talent from abroad, it must develop its own world-class product-building talent.
“CodeClan was an effective, extremely cheap way to create tech talent, taking on people from a range of backgrounds and giving them the skills they need to flourish in these industries. You never know where the next Google, Skyscanner or Deliveroo will come from, but it certainly won’t be here if resources like this are allowed to wither away.
“The economy secretary should immediately speak with Scottish Enterprise and set out what can be done to ensure that this resource is not lost to Scotland. If this were a firm whose assets were in industrial equipment there is no way they would be allowed to expire with barely a whimper from the government.”
In 2021 the Inverness office was closed and the business “looked to have returned to some stability”, according to the liquidators.
However, they added: “Unfortunately, current market conditions have hit the turnover, with the business placement side of the business once again suffering. Attempts to replace this income have failed and ultimately, a lack of cash flow has resulted in the company being placed in liquidation and immediately ceasing to trade. All 57 employees have now been made redundant.”