People who are out of work and those on low incomes will be able to develop skills in software development and cyber security thanks to the new £1 million Digital Start Fund.

Digital Economy Minister Kate Forbes announced the latest Scottish Government investment at tech company Zonal’s headquarters in Edinburgh this week.

“Businesses increasingly need Digital Skills, so it’s important that we ensure there is a pipeline of tech talent,” she said. “This new fund recruits and trains people who are furthest from the job market and equips them with the skills which are most in demand right now.

“Technology is forecast to be the fastest growing sector in Scotland by 2024, but success is dependent on skills. This is a big opportunity not only for tech businesses, but also to future employees. I would encourage anyone who is keen to work in the tech sector to explore whether this opportunity can help them achieve their digital ambitions.”

Neville Prentice, Service and Delivery Director at Skills Development Scotland, added: “Developing new pathways into the digital sector is crucial if we are to continue tackling the current skills shortage, and help employers source the skills they need for growth and innovation. The Digital Start Fund is an important and exciting step in this respect, helping more people access the training they need to improve their digital skills and embark on a new career.

“Factor in other initiatives such as Developing Your Digital Workforce and the creation of the Digital Skills Partnership and you can clearly see we are doing all we can, in partnership with many others, to plug the skills gap and further enhance Scotland’s reputation as a global leader in this sector.”

Nick Huckerby, Group Director at Zonal, thinks the fund will be good for business as well as for the individuals getting trained. “As a growing Scottish technology business, we’re really excited about the Digital Start Fund,” he said.

“We’ve been growing a lot for the past few years so we have a lot of vacancies and we always struggle to fill them with good, experienced people. The new fund will ensure more people can access jobs in the digital sector and help address this skills gap.”

More information about the fund, and how to apply can be found on the Digital World website.