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Scotland unveils its digital vision

It plans to create the right conditions to boost the number of digital jobs to 150,000 by 2021

Scotland wants its people and organisations to be able to realise their digital potential
Scotland wants its people and organisations to be able to realise their digital potential

The government wants every premise in Scotland to have access to broadband speeds of at least 30Mbps by 2021

A new Digital Growth Fund will be set up to address the current undersupply of digital skills

The strategy aims to put citizens first in the design and delivery of digital public services

The Scottish Government has set out its digital strategy, which aims to put digital “at the heart” of everything it does from delivering inclusive economic growth and reforming public services to preparing children for the workplace of the future.


Actions detailed in Realising Scotland’s full potential in a Digital World include ensuring that every premises in Scotland is able to access broadband speeds of at least 30Mbps by 2021 as well as securing its infrastructure against a cyber attack.


Launching the strategy during a visit to a newly converted high-tech acceleration and growth space for aspiring businesses in Glasgow, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution Derek Mackay said: “Digital is transforming the way we live. It is connecting us faster than ever before while putting more power into the hands of service users. There is a huge opportunity here and now to ensure that people, businesses and organisations across Scotland, are given the tools and skills they need to harness this potential.


He adds: “Our vision is for Scotland to become even more digitally competitive and attractive. By developing our existing workforce and increasing our digital capabilities across society and the business community, we will ensure that our citizens have the opportunity to improve their digital skills with everyone who wants to get connected able to do so, and public services designed by and for citizens that are secure. This will in turn will have a positive impact on growing our economy.”


As well as focusing on broadband access and cyber-security, the strategy also includes:

  • Creating the conditions which could lead to 150,000 working in digital technology jobs across Scotland by the start of the next decade.
  • A new digital schools programme
  • A new round of funding for community digital inclusion projects and expand Scotland’s Digital Participation Charter
  • A new Digital Growth Fund to address the current undersupply of digital skills.

The strategy aims to put citizens first in the design and delivery of digital public services as well as develop shared infrastructure, services and standards in collaboration with public service partners. It will use data more effectively to support service design and encourage public sector data owners to open up non-personal data for use across the public sector and beyond.


It has also pledged to build the necessary digital skills, capability and leadership in the public sector to achieve its goals.


Gavin Thomson, Atos senior vice president BDS UK&I and Scotland, Ireland & Wales, is among the digital businesses looking forward to helping the country achieve its vision.


“In this age of digital disruption, we welcome the fact that the Scottish Government is championing the digital transformation of public service delivery and economy with this new strategy,” he said.


He added: “As a business with a significant Scottish presence, there is great appetite from organisations and people throughout Scotland to harness the digital revolution and build a connected, resilient and inclusive society. This will also help Scotland gain a competitive advantage in today’s global economy.


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