Data and digital technologies are predicted to drive gains of as much as three trillion dollars a year for the global economy, according to McKinsey Global Institute. Taking advantage of that opportunity raises challenges, because responsibility for what needs to be done must be shared between people, business, and government.
That’s where the City Region Deal’s Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) Skills Gateway comes in. Transforming the region into a digital powerhouse is a central strand of the Deal, which aims to make Edinburgh and South East Scotland the data capital of Europe.
Scotland already enjoys important advantages in data creation and use, and has a strong base of leading digital industries. But we need more people with the right skills to enter the workforce, and to start and grow new businesses. And we need those already in work to be able to power the digital transformation of existing organisations.
The DDI Skills Gateway has been set up so that the whole population can benefit from the opportunities of the new economy. It creates the potential for everyone to sharpen their data skills and exploit their digital talents.
That includes girls in school who might be put off by the frequently male-dominated image of the technology sector, people returning to the workforce after a break, or anyone who combines work with caring for family members or friends. It also includes people whose roles are changing and who may now face redundancy.
It covers teaching and skills at all stages, from early years to adult learning. It includes people of all backgrounds and social groups, people with disabilities and other challenges, and people with all levels of previous education.