The Digital Xtra Fund, designed to engage more Scottish children in extra-curricular digital skills activities, has been increased from £50,000 to £100,000.

The fund is a Scottish charity which aims to encourage young people to consider careers in digital technologies and reduce Scotland’s digital skills gap.  To date, the Fund has distributed £550,000 in support of 55 initiatives, achieving an active engagement of over 20,000 young people across all local authorities in Scotland.

This year’s funding will support 22 computing projects across the country, ranging from robotics and coding, to app development and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Funding and in-kind support are provided by industry partners such as Skyscanner, JP Morgan, and the Micro:bit Educational Foundation.

“Digital skills are becoming increasingly essential for most careers, regardless of industry, so it is vital that we equip as many children as possible with these skills from a young age,” said Kraig Brown, partnerships and development manager for the fund.

“Our mission is to help young people in Scotland acquire vital digital skills through, exciting and engaging digital skills initiatives they can get involved in outwith the classroom. We are there to help hard-pushed educators who may not have the time or resources to teach these important skills.

“The demand for people with digital skills will be insatiable in Scotland in the future so we need to create a pipeline of young people with the necessary digital skills now so that we can thrive as a digital nation.

“We are particularly keen on encouraging more girls to consider digital careers as well as supporting young people in rural communities and areas of less affluence where access to computing resources might be limited.”