Nicola Sturgeon announces £36 million loans for digital skills funding

Monday, March 20th 2017

Nicola Sturgeon has announced £36 million of loans to Scottish companies for digital skills training to support economic productivity. Through the Digital Growth Fund, loans will be provided in 3 years to up to 18,000 people, to improve proficiency in skills in software, engineering, data analytics and cyber security areas.

The First Minister. Nicolas Sturgeon, was speaking in Aberdeen, at the SNP's spring conference, on Saturday. She pointed out that recent studies estimated a need of 10,000 new workers every year having digital skills, but reports say only a fourth of businesses do anything to develop their current employees. The First Minister said they need to change this as Scotland can't afford to miss the digital revolution and announced establishing a new 3-year support of £36 million to fund the upfront costs of training, investment in staff and in Scotland's future.

She added this will see up to 6,000 people each year access training in areas like digital marketing, web-designing and software development. The government said firms can use the funding for the training of staff and repay in later years. The announcement follows the reinvestment highlighted by Dereck Mackey, Finance Secretary, a couple of days earlier, worth £15.6 million into broadband coverage.

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