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Smarter Recruitment & Re-Skilling Could Help Scotland’s Digital Economy

Brian Baglow

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Sam Wason & Gordon Kaye, Cathcart

Re-skilling and smarter recruitment could offer the key to Scotland’s digital economy reaching even greater heights, according to recruitment specialists Cathcart Associates.

Research from Skills Development Scotland found that 31% of graduates entering Scotland’s digital sector come from non-computing backgrounds including business, design and science.

At the same time Cathcart’s IT recruitment team are seeing a rise in the number of digital companies, especially start-ups, looking for people with the same skills – business, commercial and project management.

As Scotland’s digital economy continues to grow, a skills shortage has been forecast, with more companies looking for more skilled technical staff.

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Cathcart suggests that re-skilling the professionals from other industries and backgrounds could help technology companies to avoid the skills shortage.

Cathcart’s joint managing director Gordon Kaye, says, “It’s important for employers to keep an open mind when recruiting for digital roles given the continuing shortage of people with high level digital skills. There is much to be gained by employers who can invest in re-skilling professionals and graduates who enter the tech sector from different backgrounds. Indeed, they can often bring a different perspective along with transferable skills that make them very valuable.”

Resources such as CodeClan – Scotland’s digital skills academy could play a significant role in helping employees from other backgrounds improve their technical knowledge and proficiency.

Sam Watson, Cathcart’s other joint managing director, said, “Initiatives like CodeClan are doing a great job at producing a pipeline of talented developers and the Scottish Government’s £36m fund to support digital skills training for businesses really shows that Scotland is pulling its weight when it comes to supporting the sector and those wanting to work in it.”

Over 91,000 people are employed in digital technologies roles across the Scottish economy, with 60,000 employed directly by digital businesses. More than half of those are employed in non-technology sectors such as financial services.

The average full-time salary in the digital technologies sector has increased to £37,400 from  in 2010, showing stronger growth than median full-time salaries in Scotland over the same period.

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Brian Baglow

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