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Scottish tech firms upbeat on growth prospects



Scotland’s technology businesses remain optimistic about their prospects this year, despite operating in a complex and challenging economic environment, the latest annual report by industry body ScotlandIS has shown.

The report reflects a sector generally in robust health, with increased trading and employment expectations.

As skills shortages persist, many firms plan to hire recent graduates to meet their expansion plans.

Karen Meechan, ScotlandIS chief executive, said: “Time and again, the tech sector in Scotland has provided a source of great economic optimism.”

She added: “The responses to this year’s survey are further proof of this. During one of the toughest economic periods in a generation, these figures show how resilient our industry really is.”

Of those surveyed, 78% expressed optimism for the current year, and 90% anticipate an increase in revenues, with 29% predicting sales will rise by more than one-fifth. With expansion in mind, 70% expect to increase their headcount in the year ahead, and only 2% mention plans to cut jobs.

To address skills gaps exacerbated by Brexit, 62% of firms plan to hire newly-qualified graduates.

There are more than 70,000 people employed in Scotland’s digital technologies industry. If all these jobs were filled, £1 billion would be added to the country’s economy, according to ScotlandIS.

Ms Meechan said: “With sales and job opportunities both expected to rise, the positive impact Scottish tech has on the national economy is only set to increase.”

However, she urged to not “take this for granted”, as “like any ecosystem, Scottish tech needs supported and cultivated in order for growth to continue”.

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