Welcome to the latest FS Fives – FutureScot’s lunchtime round-up of Scottish digital news.
First up, we bring you news of an important intervention by the Scottish Labour Party on the well-chronicled lack of female participation in tech industry subjects at school. Analysis of education data by the party has shown that there has been an alarming 45% decline in the number of girls studying higher computing at school, and of science-based qualifications more generally.
“The SNP Government should be doing more to encourage young women into subjects like computing and the sciences, but that will be made all the more difficult by hundreds of millions of pounds of cuts to schools and local services in the SNP budget,” said shadow education spokesman and former party leader Iain Gray.
“The SQA’s own information shows huge drops in the number of young women studying key subjects since the SNP first came to power in 2007. Scotland faces a skills gap of 10,000 digital jobs over the next decade. Filling in that gap will mean a huge windfall for our economy, but missing out will mean Scotland lags behind the rest of the UK,” he added.
ScotlandIS – the trade body for the digital technologies sector in Scotland – has launched its 2016 workforce survey. The organisation wants to help its 300-plus members and the wider industry in realising its potential to “grow, develop new products and services, increase exports and thus create more value and high value jobs for the Scottish economy”.
The purpose of the surveymonkey research is to establish key metrics including developing a baseline for the number of people working in digital roles in Scotland, salary levels across a range of key job types and information on the non-financial benefits companies are offering.
You rarely hear of a public sector IT project going well. Like publicly traded billion-dollar companies, they are ‘unicorns’, mythical beasts you encounter only in your dreams. Which is why news from NHS Education for Scotland (NES) is so encouraging. Following a partnership with PA Consulting, NES has managed to develop a new digital training suite for healthcare professionals to manage their own professional development. The system, called TURAS (Gaelic for ‘journey’), was also (rather incredibly) developed in just 16 weeks and because it is “intuitive” almost no user training was required.
“With TURAS, PA not only delivered an on-time, on-cost, high-quality and fit-for-purpose system. They also delivered a technical environment and in-house capability from which NES Digital can confidently and successfully build its digital future,” said Christopher Wroath – Interim Director of Digital Transformation – NHS Education for Scotland.
Airbnb has launched a new service which allows guests who use the house-sharing service to take up the offer of specialised tour guides. A private beta of a new programme called ‘City Hosts’ allows Airbnb guests to go beyond lodging and rent private tour guides to show them the hidden gems of the area they’re in. The private beta currently allows access to City Hosts available in San Francisco, London, Los Angeles, Paris and Tokyo, according to a report on TechCrunch.
And finally…Ever wondered why you can’t get a ticket for a gig? Or why (if you are successful), you end up seemingly paying so much more it than everyone else. Well, that’s because the game is rigged, according to former TicketMaster CEO Nathan Hubbard.