Boom year predicted for software and IT sector

Purvis: 'skills gap hitting home'. Picture: Contributed
Purvis: 'skills gap hitting home'. Picture: Contributed
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SCOTLAND’S digital technologies sector is predicted to enjoy strong growth this year, according to the findings of an industry survey.

Trade body ScotlandIS said 83 per cent of firms are planning to increase staff numbers, with 86 per cent expecting sales to rise in the coming year.

The annual survey of 150 organisations, carried out on behalf of ScotlandIS by Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, also found that Scottish businesses are carrying out a significant amount of international activity, with Canada, Europe and the US seen as the most attractive overseas markets.

Polly Purvis, chief executive of ScotlandIS, said: “There has never been a better time to get into software and IT. For young people considering their career options, our industry offers huge opportunities, from founding your own tech start-up to international marketing, as Scottish technology businesses increasingly move into global markets.”

Although Purvis warned that a shortage of skilled people could stop the industry reaching its full potential, she was confident that work is under way to address the problem.

“The skills gap is be­ginning to hit home, causing wage inflation and making it harder for companies to retain experience, so we are pleased to see the public sector and our ­members working together to find a solution,” said ­Purvis.

“By dealing with this problem now we will ensure that our industry is able to continue to grow and contribute to the Scottish economy.”

Some 80,000 people work in the Scottish digital technologies industry, which contributes about £4 billion to the economy.