Scotland’s digital technology sector is being given a £6.6 million funding boost from the Scottish Government to help it find candidates for up to 11,000 jobs a year.
The money will support the development of digital skills with a new plan which involves encouraging more women into the sector and delivering work placements.
First Minister Alex Salmond announced the funding and plan on a visit to officially open the new Edinburgh premises of digital incubator company CodeBase.
He said: “ICT and digital technologies are a key driver of economic growth. However, despite growing demand for skills, the number of young people within the sector has not kept pace.
“That is why [this] funding announcement along with the publication of the skills development plan is so important.
“[We] believes there is even further untapped potential in our digital sector and we want Scotland to become a world-leading digital nation by 2020.”
Scotland’s information and communications technology and digital technology sector delivers an estimated £3 billion to the economy and employs some 73,000 people.
Holyrood’s plan aims to respond to an immediate skills shortage to support the demand of up to 11,000 jobs per year.
Elements in the investment plan include aligning education systems to employers’ needs, supporting employer engagement with schools and delivering 750 work placements for students by 2016.