ScotlandIS predicts 70,000 new jobs by 2021

ScotlandIS predicts 70,000 new jobs by 2021

ScotlandIS believes a focus on developing the nation's digital economy could lead to a total of 70,000 technology jobs being created over the next five years.

ScotlandIS is calling on political parties to focus on fostering growth in the digital technologies sector as it launches its manifesto ahead of the Scottish Parliament election. 

The ICT trade body believes Scotland can help drive ‘the next information revolution’ with the right investment and infrastructure put in place.

Describing the sector as ‘the invisible industry that is changing the world’, the group says that better connectivity for every citizen, a workforce equipped for the future and greater digital inclusion will help Scotland to achieve its potential as a digital nation.

The sector has grown substantially over the last five years and ScotlandIS believes that the industry has the potential to double in size if government and industry work together to create a climate for growth.

Polly Purvis, chief executive of ScotlandIS, said: “We are at the beginning of the next information revolution.

“Scotland has the opportunity to convert our undeniable potential into a reality by creating an effective digital economy, which could translate into an extra 70,000 jobs in five years. 

“In particular, we must leverage the current global opportunities in data science and cyber security as well as working to increase exports.

“Our research suggests that there is significant appetite among Scottish businesses to expand international sales and this should be encouraged, increasing the number of companies who understand how to export successfully.” 

The manifesto calls for:

  • The need to accelerate the availability of next generation connectivity, particularly in rural areas.
  • Free Wi-Fi access to become the norm in town and cities, starting with the opening up of Wi-Fi infrastructure funded by the public sector.
  • A focus on fostering tech cluster growth, with new clusters encouraged in Aberdeen and Inverness, and growth targets for Edinburgh and Glasgow to outperform successful cities such as Stockholm and Berlin.
  • Further support for the development and expansion of a range of business incubators and accelerators.
  • Improved access to growth capital by finding mechanisms to encourage crowdfunding, providing cornerstone funding in new venture capital funds.
    • Over 84,000 people currently work in digital technologies roles across Scotland, generating more than £5bn in GVA.

      According to KPMG’s Tech Monitor, the number of tech sector enterprises in Scotland grew 43.4% between 2010 and 2015, second only to London (54.6%).

      What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section below.