Leonid Andronov - stock.adobe.co
Scottish technology sector trade body ScotlandIS has published its annual survey, suggesting growth in employment is on the cards.
The Scottish technology industry survey 2023 found that 83% of the 162 technology companies surveyed expect to increase their staff numbers, an increase of 7% from last year. The survey was conducted between 20 December 2022 and 7 March 2023.
None of the companies in the survey plan to cut jobs.
ScotlandIS said the technology sector employs more than 80,000 people in Scotland, which has 3,900 “digital technologies” companies. According to the organisation, the sector is the fourth strongest export sector, reckoning £3.3bn in overseas sales.
The membership organisation works closely with the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise, and Skills Development Scotland.
The report indicates that the greatest job opportunities, over the next year, lie in cyber security (46%), followed by data analytics (45%) and artificial intelligence (43%). However, AI and data analytics job prospects have increased by only 1%, while cyber security has increased by 15%
According to ScotlandIS, the proportion of businesses recording turnover of over £1m increased from 22% in 2022 to 37% in 2023.
“A very positive outcome from this year’s survey is the way in which our tech sector has stabilised,” said Karen Meechan, CEO of ScotlandIS. “Huge change was needed to cope with the ebbs and flows of the pandemic era, and that has now settled into more predictable and sustainable growth. Not only are more companies recording seven-figure turnovers, but more and more are also seeking to export their services outside of Scotland. The tech sector needs to export to grow, so this is an encouraging sign for the future.”
“A very positive outcome from this year’s survey is the way in which our tech sector has stabilised... More companies [are] recording seven-figure turnovers and more are seeking to export their services outside of Scotland. The tech sector needs to export to grow, so this is an encouraging sign for the future”
Karen Meechan, ScotlandIS
The survey found the Scottish tech sector is now exporting at its highest level (87%) since the Covid-19 pandemic, overturning a decline in exports from 2021 to 2022.
Meechan said layoffs among Silicon Valley-based companies could be “a rare opportunity for growing Scottish companies that are struggling to find skilled candidates as they release an experienced pool of talent back into the industry”.
The top four sectors that digital companies are supplying changed slightly, according to the report. Financial services increased to 11% from 10%, while the public sector decreased from 13% to 12%. There were marginal increases in demand from defence (up 1% to 6%) and healthcare and pharmaceuticals (also up 1% up to 7%).
Read more about Scotland’s technology sector
- Mark Logan on his vision for a Scottish technology ecosystem: The Scottish Government’s entrepreneur advisor speaks to Computer Weekly about the philosophy behind an ambitious technology ecosystem strategy.
- Brian Hills, chief executive of The Data Lab in Scotland, on why he thinks the organisation’s mission is less about data and more about changing lives by giving people career opportunities.
- Scotland’s tech sector recovers pre-pandemic verve: According to ScotlandIS’s 2022 annual report, the Scottish technology sector has recovered pre-pandemic levels of growth, with cyber security emerging as the hottest growth area.