Tag: scotlandis

Digital Critical Friends – ScotlandIS and DYW Glasgow

What is this project?

In response to the Logan Review, ScotlandIS has worked with DYW Glasgow to develop an innovative and responsive project to provide every secondary school  in Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, and South Lanarkshire with a senior tech expert at their disposal – these are Digital Critical Friends.    

ScotlandIS aim to raise awareness of the skills and knowledge required for working in the tech sector amongst educators, learners and their families. The programme will help teachers shape a curriculum that matches the needs of industry and ensure learners are aware of the opportunities for work, training, and further study.

There were 35 schools in Glasgow involved in the pilot programme and they have also matched schools and partners in: North Lanarkshire, East Dunbartonshire, Scottish Borders and developing partnerships in: South Lanarkshire, West Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire. 


Why is this programme needed?

There is currently a shortage of learners qualifying in, studying, or having the opportunity to study Computing Science in some schools – especially girls and young women.

Only 27% of young women say they would consider a career in technology, and only 3% would say it is their first choice of career. (PwC UK, Women in Tech Report) 


The tech industry in Scotland promises creative, flexible, and highly rewarding career pathways, and it is estimated that around 80% of future jobs will require STEM skills, including Computing Science. 

13,000 digital tech job opportunities are created every year in Scotland, filling all of them would add £1bn to Scotland’s economy. (ScotlandIS)  


How does this work?

ScotlandIS will work with individual DYW regional teams over the next 12 months to provide a Digital Critical Friend in every secondary school in that region. 

Digital Critical Friends will inform teachers and pupils of what is happening in the sector: where the new technologies are, share emerging career opportunities and how to access them. They can also support teachers and management tap into increased funding for their department to encourage more young people to study the subject.    

Digital Critical Friends can connect flexibly, by video call, email or over coffee. They will act as a sounding board, a friend, a guide to the teachers. They’ll be willing to take part in catch-ups and could present to students about subjects that interest them, demonstrating how exciting the tech sector is. Teachers and Digital Critical Friends may also arrange a visit to each other’s workplace in order to understand the opportunities and challenges that they work with.  

This programme also complements others that are available, including Tech She Can and Scottish Digital Literacy Week (03/10/22).


Who is involved and supporting?

There are already a number of well-known organisations supporting the programme, including but not limited to:

  • Strathclyde University
  • RIIOT Digital
  • Leidos
  • BJSS
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Capgemini
  • Capito

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If you are interested in becoming a Digital Critical Friend or would just like more information on the programme, please feel free to contact Nicola Taylor, Head of Operations and Skills at ScotlandIS: nicola.taylor@scotlandis.com 

ScotSoft 2021 – Thursday 7th October

ScotSoft is the leading tech conference in Scotland from ScotlandIS and has been running for more than 20 years. It’s an annual festival of ideas and innovation that showcases the best of the Scottish technology sector and brings together renowned speakers from all over the world.. 

We seek to help technology businesses and professionals focus on future trends, opportunities for growth, look at personal development in leadership skills and strategies, and help the digital community in Scotland prosper. 

Last year’s first ever virtual event saw over 1200 delegates registered, with nearly 40 speakers covering an extensive range of themes from AI to data ethics, brand awareness to investment, threat intelligence to space tech. 


This year’s virtual conference will have an Education stream, sponsored by Skills Development Scotland, that aims to inform parents, teachers and young people of the career possibilities for the next generation in the tech industry, and the support and skills required for these roles. 

There remains a large skills gap in the tech industry, and a key part of closing this gap is engaging with young people to give them a better understanding of what roles exist that they may be suited to and how to get onto these career paths. 


These are some of the education sessions taking place: 


Code your own Data Selfie 

Take part in this interactive data science activity with your class and learn about data visualisation and how data can be used to create art. Join our data science team to create a data-driven piece of digital art about the person you know best: you. 

This session is designed for class teachers to bring their learners to. It’s free to participate, you will just need access to a web browser. 

The workshop is suitable for learners from P7-S4. No previous experience of data science is required. 


A Day in the Life in Tech 

This session will show videos of a day in the life of tech employees in some of Scotland’s key tech companies, and will highlight the different pathways that can be taken to get into these roles, as well as break down misconceptions or stereotypes sometimes associated with these careers. 

The session aims to inspire school pupils around the country as to the wider career possibilities available to them, as the future of the tech industry. 


Meet the Expert: Space Technology 

Join our live session where you’ll hear from David Alexander, Director of the world-famous Rice Space Institute in Texas, and Ed Mitchard, Co-Founder of Space Intelligence, a rapidly growing satellite data analytics company.  


This is an opportunity to find out more about the exciting careers in Space and what it’s like to work in this field. 



Book your ticket now