Scotland launches fund to boost digital skills for unemployed and low-income workers
Scottish Government implements scheme via national skills agency
The Scottish Government has launched a scheme in which people who are out of work and those on low incomes will be helped to develop digital skills in order to open up job opportunities.
A new £1m Digital Start Fund will support people through specialist training while also helping to bridge the digital skills gap by encouraging more people into digital occupations.
The fund will be managed by Skills Development Scotland, the country’s public national skills agency. Applications will be made through appointed colleges and training providers.
Scotland’s digital economy minister Kate Forbes said: “Businesses increasingly need digital skills and so it’s important that we ensure there is a pipeline of tech talent. This new fund recruits and trains people who are furthest from the job market and equips them with the skills which are most in demand right now.”
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She added: “Technology is forecast to be the fastest growing sector in Scotland by 2024, but success is dependent on skills. This is a big opportunity not only for tech businesses, but also to future employees. I would encourage anyone who is keen to work in the tech sector to explore whether this opportunity can help them achieve their digital ambitions.”
Neville Prentice, service and delivery director at Skills Development Scotland, said: “Developing new pathways into the digital sector is crucial if we are to continue tackling the current skills shortage, and help employers source the skills they need for growth and innovation. The Digital Start Fund is an important and exciting step in this respect, helping more people access the training they need to improve their digital skills and embark on a new career.
“Factor in other initiatives such as Developing Your Digital Workforce and the creation of the Digital Skills Partnership and you can clearly see we are doing all we can, in partnership with many others, to plug the skills gap and further enhance Scotland’s reputation as a global leader in this sector.”
The appointed colleges and training providers for the Digital Start Fund are GTS, Codeclan, North Highland College and West College.
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