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Scottish Tech Sector Grows Twice As Fast As Its Economy

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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New figures suggest Scotland’s tech industry is growing and employing more people

The Scottish technology industry is growing twice as fast as the rest of the economy and now employs two percent of the national workforce.

According to new figures from Digital Technologies Skills Group, the number of tech firms rose by 53 percent between 2010 and 2015 and now represent five percent of Scotland’s total businesses.

More than 60,000 people are employed by tech businesses, sixty percent of which are technical roles. Ninety-five percent of tech firms in the country employ between 1 and 10 people and 90,000 people are employed in technology positions across all sectors.

Scotland at MWC 2017

Scotland tech sector

The research suggests there are 12,800 technology jobs available each year and half of all employers had hired someone tech related over the past 12 months.

“The digital technologies sector is expanding and is a key contributor to the economic growth and global competitiveness of every sector in Scotland,” said Claire Gillespie, key sector manager for ICT and digital skills at Skills Development Scotland.

“This growth is creating significant job opportunities for skilled workers, particularly young people and other new entrants across a wide range of roles. The Digital Technologies Skills Group is working to broaden the talent pipeline for the future to ensure Scotland can achieve its digital potential.”

According to the findings, the number of young Scots passing computing science has risen and the number of people studying the subject at university has risen by 20 percent over the past five years. Scottish technology firms are keen to try out younger talent with graduate roles and modern apprenticeships.

However across the UK there are concerns that not enough young people are studying computing. There was only a modest increase in students taking the new GCSE in computing science and many are still taking the soon to be defunct ICT exam, meaning even fewer students will be studying tech related subjects.

Scotland recently launched its largest ever data centre to support the country’s cloud ambitions.

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