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Data Lab helps upskill 1,000 learners to plug Scotland’s digital skills gap

Scotland’s innovation centre for data and artificial intelligence has hailed a milestone having upskilled 1,000 learners in data literacy.

Led by The Data Lab, the data skills for work programme is part of the Data Driven Innovation skills gateway at the University of Edinburgh. It aims to address the tech skills gap by offering a series of digital and data courses to support workers adapting to increasingly digitised, automated and data-driven workplaces.

The programme has received funding from the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, the Scottish Government and the Tay Cities DigiTay project to fund training places for individuals across Scotland. The vast majority of the 1,000 learners are based in Edinburgh and south-east Scotland.

In addition to tackling the skills gap, the programme aims to encourage more diversity in the workplace. Only 24 per cent of the UK’s tech workforce are women and 14 per cent of UK employees are from BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) backgrounds.

Anna Ashton Scott, programme manager for professional development at The Data Lab, said: “The pace of technological change shows no signs of slowing down. Workplaces are becoming increasingly reliant on technology and, with data now at the heart of many aspects of our professional lives, those who can’t keep up risk being left behind.

“While these changes certainly bring positives, it’s crucial we don’t let others fall by the wayside. The data skills for work programme ensures those most impacted by the changes in digitalisation and AI can learn the skills they need, not only to survive in their chosen fields but to thrive in them.”

Dilraj Sokhi-Watson, director at Equate Scotland and a graduate of the programme, said: “With more than ten years of experience in my field, there is still much more to data skills than I had realised. Before joining the programme, I was keen to bridge the gap between my existing expertise and the rapidly changing technology the team are using daily. I was also keen to develop skills that would allow me to implement strong practice in data governance, management and strategy across my team.”

Source: The Scotsman

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