The Edinburgh-headquartered tech unicorn has increased its contribution to £32,500 – making it the fund’s largest supporter from the private sector.
Skyscanner’s enhanced support has helped double the 2019 grants programme to £100,000 and support 22 computing activities across the country. Topics covered by the fund encompass robotics, coding, app development and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Kraig Brown, partnerships and development manager at Digital Xtra Fund, welcomed the announcement and emphasised the importance of initiatives that help engage young people; while also supporting teachers.
He said: “Skyscanner is a fantastic supporter of the Fund and really get what we are trying to achieve. By supporting an ecosystem of extracurricular computing activities across Scotland, we can support teachers through other organisations and digital professionals who have the knowledge, enthusiasm and experience to speak about tech careers and teach these skills.
“Our goal is for all young people across Scotland to have access to digital activities and understand the near-limitless possibilities these skills will provide. Partnering with more companies will enable us to increase the impact year-on-year. Hopefully, Skyscanner’s example can inspire other businesses and organisations.”
More than 9,000 young people, including 5,060 girls and young women, are expected to benefit from supported activities this year, and both organisations will place a strong focus on engaging more young women and girls in tech subjects.
As part of the Fund’s grant application process, activity providers are asked to outline how they will engage these key audiences, which will ultimately help increase the number and diversity of young people learning advanced digital skills.
Michael Hall, senior engineering manager at Skyscanner, said that supporting digital learning and outreach among Scotland’s young people will be key to the future of the nation’s burgeoning technology sector.
“The work Digital Extra Fund is doing is extremely important, and this is why we are happy to increase our support,” he said. “Encouraging the next generation to embrace digital learning and technology is vital for the future of Scotland’s thriving tech sector, as well as our wider economy.
“Skyscanner believes that charitable efforts should not only help people, but also create shared economic value with the community – in this case, by giving young people the skills they need to succeed whilst developing a stronger future talent pool for the Scottish tech industry.”