Thursday, November 1, 2012

Does Scotland have a digital skills issue?

I see a huge digital/eCommerce/online opportunity available to Scotland. There's people doing great things here and I'm impressed with a lot of what I see.

But Scotland can only truly take advantage of the new digital economy if:

1. There is a decent supply of brains
Academia has its part to play here, by educating and training the best to not only gain qualifications. but to be employable. However the digital industry also has another part to play here, rather than just rely on the cream of the crop from the top universities… recognising where it can cross-train slightly more experienced people from alternative disciplines. I did this in the late 1990’s when all the online start-ups had exhausted the supply of programmers, digital project managers, etc. It worked then, it can work now.

2. There are roles available
A actually think that entrepreneurs are doing a lot in Scotland to move things forward and from what I’ve seen so far they are given a fair amount encouragement and resources. But they can only generate a certain amount of new roles. IMHO more traditional businesses must also step up to the plate and realise that the world is moving fast, very fast…… and that older models of working, selling and distribution are not necessarily the ways of the future.
The figure I quoted in an earlier blog posting from the Scottish Enterprise report into eCommerce showed how little IT jobs contained the word ‘eCommerce’ in them.
Surely this isn’t the fault of the labour supply, who (with the right education, exposure and training) can be highly useful digital resources?….. To me is shows a lack of general demand for digital roles up here.

Which if it is true, is more worrying!
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