Digital Xtra Fund Receives Massive Cash Boost

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Fresh funding from the Scottish business sector has doubled the Digital Xtra fund from £50,000 to £100,000. 

The Digital Xtra Fund has seen its fund double in size after receiving a significant financial boost from Scottish businesses. With this cash boost, the charity will be able to increase the support of its initiatives, which encourage young people to consider pursuing careers in tech.

The increased funding will enable Digital Xtra Fund to support a number of extracurricular computing initiatives that aim to inspire young people across Scotland to understand and create with technology.

By helping get kids enthusiastic about tech, the charity’s goal, in the long run, is to reduce Scotland’s digital skills gap. Not only does it try to provide them with better opportunities in their future careers, but also it helps prepare them for an increasingly digital world.

To date, the Fund has distributed £550,000 in support of 55 initiatives, achieving an active engagement of over 20,000 young people across all local authorities in Scotland.

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This year, the Digital Xtra fund will support 22 computing projects across the country, ranging from robotics and coding to app development and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Key industry partners are vital to the efficacy of the charity with companies like Skyscanner, JP Morgan, and the Micro:bit Educational Foundation providing both support and funding. Other partners include Accenture, Baillie Gifford, BT Scotland, CityFibre, Fujitsu, Incremental Group, Microsoft, ScotlandIS, Sky UK, and Zonal.

“Digital skills are becoming increasingly essential for most careers, regardless of industry, so it is vital that we equip as many children as possible with these skills from a young age,” explains Kraig Brown, partnerships and development manager for the Digital Xtra Fund. “Our mission is to help young people in Scotland acquire vital digital skills through, exciting and engaging digital skills initiatives they can get involved in outwith the classroom.  We are there to help hard-pushed educators who may not have the time or resources to teach these important skills.”

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“The demand for people with digital skills will be insatiable in Scotland in the future so we need to create a pipeline of young people with the necessary digital skills now so that we can thrive as a digital nation.

“We are particularly keen on encouraging more girls to consider digital careers as well as supporting young people in rural communities and areas of less affluence where access to computing resources might be limited.”

He adds: “We are absolutely delighted and thankful that our industry partners have generously allowed us to double the funds available this year. This will make a huge difference to the initiatives we can support and the overall engagement we can achieve all around the country.”

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