Digital Economy

Digital Skills Action Plan

A Digital Economy skills action plan that can underpin a world leading 21st Century Scottish Digital Nation.

Digital Skills are of course central to the ambitions of a Digital Nation.

From the essential skills required for the modern workplace through the knowledge to start and grow a new digital business, all the desired outcomes are dependent on the latest technology skills.

Our Digital Skills Strategy draws together the key policies, industry leader insights and worldwide best practices to shape an action plan that can underpin a world leading 21st Century Scottish Digital Nation.

Digital Economy Skills Action Plan

As they announce here Skills Development Scotland recently published their Digital Economy Skills Action Plan (DESAP).

The report highlights the key skills challenges Scotland faces in realizing it’s ambition to become a world leading digital nation:

  • Only 3 in 10 businesses are fully equipped with cyber security skills.
  • Only 1 in 3 businesses engage in ecommerce.
  • Only 1 in 5 businesses feel fully equipped with digital technology skills.

An ambition of Digital Scotland: A Changing Nation is that every business and every individual in Scotland can embrace the economic opportunities presented by the digital economy. Achieving this target requires an inclusive skills and education system which is responsive to the ever-changing needs of the digital economy.

Since 2014 the maturity of Scotland’s digital economy has been measured against a baseline, and progress was subsequently tracked in 2017 and 2021.

This research shows that despite the pandemic being an accelerator of digitalisation, Scottish businesses predominantly are in the lower half of digital economy maturity and a lack of skills is a contributor.

Businesses across the maturity spectrum reported digital skills issues, which included a quarter of businesses identifying their workforce lacked the basic digital skills to use email, internet, and office packages effectively. Only around a third of business reported being fully equipped with cyber security skills which is a serious risk as businesses faced an average of 24 cyber security incidents last year.

Action Plan

The report defines a series of actions and objectives to address these challenges:

  1. Extend the reach of digital technology experiences for young people who may otherwise not participate in technology subjects at school.
  2. Inspire young people about careers in the Scottish digital economy by engaging employers in every primary and secondary school in Scotland.
  3. Strengthen and communicate the evidence base on the current and future demand for digital economy skills and jobs.
  4. Identify key digital economy skills competencies and aligning and developing micro-credentialed/short courses to address skills needs of employers.
  5. Maximise the uptake of work-based learning pathways to support the demand for professional digital skills.
  6. Support small businesses to identify and address the digital economy skills gaps in their workforce.
  7. Increase the number of small businesses who can harness the benefits of digital transition.


Editor of On a mission to build a world leading Scottish digital nation.

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