When Edinburgh College was setting out its Digital Strategy 2020-25, we couldn’t have anticipated quite how soon our overarching ambition of ‘becoming a High Performing Digital College’ would need to become a reality.

Prior to the pandemic, technology was already having a profound impact on almost every aspect of our college. That impact has increased at an exponential rate since March when colleges across Scotland were required to pivot from face-to-face on-campus and in-work delivery, business support and operations, to a fully remote model. Whilst adapting to the new ways of delivering life changing education and training online, our college’s role in upskilling and reskilling people was also catapulted to new heights as we continued to provide support to businesses in our region – including those that have been hardest hit by the economic downturn.

Prior to the pandemic, I co-authored a report highlighting the place of colleges in Scotland’s current and future economic landscape. What is clear is that our college now has an even bigger role to play in providing opportunities to individuals and businesses in Scotland’s capital as we continue to navigate our way through and, eventually, out the other side of this pandemic. As the number of unemployed people in Scotland is expected to rise significantly over the coming months, a skills-led economic recovery will be key as we aim to ‘build back better’ from Covid-19. Through working collaboratively with government, industry and educational partners to build on the innovative work already undertaken in 2020, Edinburgh College is sharpening its focus on utilising technology to provide education and training opportunities across the region and to deliver even more for our people, employers and communities.