On 28 January 2020, the Scottish Parliament discussed the Government’s investment into building a digital connectivity skills base.
Kate Forbes, Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy, detailed the investment that had been made into education. She confirmed that between 2017-2018 investment generated 10,329 Modern Apprenticeship starts in STEM disciplines; 7,3000 STEM qualifiers from Scottish universities, and that Scottish schools delivered 194,445 qualifiers in STEM qualifications.
Alongside this, the Scottish Government have also invested an additional £25 million since 2014 to support businesses and individuals to develop their digital skills, including:
- The £1m Digital Start Fund, offering those on low incomes the opportunity to re-train, acquire digital skills and enter high value employment.
- £3m for CodeClan, generating 800 highly skilled graduates for Scotland’s economy.
- £2m on Phase 1 of the Digital Development Loan to help businesses increase their digital skills capacity.
- The £1.6m DigitalBoost programme, which supports businesses to improve productivity by upskilling staff to digitalise their operations.
In 2019, the Scottish Government published Scotland’s Future Skills Action Plan, setting out a vision to help meet Scotland’s future skills needs. Through Phase one, they are increasing investment in workforce development to £20m per annum from 2020-21, building on the current £10m Flexible Workforce Development Fund.