The scale of the boom being seen in Scotland’s technology sector is underlined today with new figures showing thousands of jobs have been created as part of a multi-billion pound annual boost to the economy.
Data from industry body Tech Nation shows job numbers in the sector in Scotland rose by 8 per cent last year to over 48,000, with average turnover per employee also hitting £80,000.
The report highlights the contribution of three Scottish tech hubs – Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee – which together contribute three-fifths of Scotland’s total tech turnover of £3.9 billion.
The Tech Nation report comes hot on the heels of last week’s announcement by Prime Minister Theresa May that the Scottish capital will be the location for Scotland’s first artificial intelligence and blockchain accelerator, run by Wayra UK in partnership with the University of Edinburgh. It is expected to create almost 400 more jobs for the sector.
Gerard Grech, chief executive at Tech Nation which analyses the industry’s contribution annually, said Scotland is one of the “jewels in the crown in the UK’s tech sector” and cited the success of the likes of Skyscanner and FanDuel.
“Scottish companies have continued to add jobs and are actively meeting up and collaborating across the sector. It is great to see that Scotland’s strengths in artificial intelligence and in data science are helping to bring forward many new start-ups,” he said.
Sandy McKinnon, a partner at Pentech Ventures which is one of Scotland’s leading investors in the sector, said: “We think the talent here measures up to that which we are seeing throughout Europe. Scottish companies have entrepreneurialism in their veins, they rightly need to look outwards and think beyond these islands.”
The report highlighted how latest figures show that the number of technology start-ups in Edinburgh is accelerating thanks to initiatives such as CodeBase, the UK’s largest tech incubator. It said Glasgow’s lower living costs are attracting a new generation of tech start-ups and workers, with a strong focus on areas such as data science and space.
Dundee continues to be dominated by the gaming industry, with the city’s talent stemming from renowned computer science and gaming courses at the University of Dundee and Abertay University.
Cally Russell, chief executive and founder of Edinburgh-based shopping app firm Mallzee, said: “These are exciting times to work for a tech start-up in Scotland. There’s a real community spirit and a strong start-up ecosystem here in Edinburgh which really spurs you on to succeed.
“We are lucky to have lots of very talented people in Edinburgh thanks to the great universities and the appeal of the city itself as a beautiful place to live and work, with a strong heritage in technology and business, it really is a fabulous place to start a business.”