Saturday, 12 May 2018 14:41


Scottish Government investment of nearly £28 million in the software sector has contributed to a jobs boom in the industry, latest statistics can reveal.

The number of software enterprises registered in Scotland has increased by over 90% since the SNP came to power in 2007 – meaning that there are now around 42,500 people employed in the software and electronic publishing sectors following years of sustained support from the SNP Scottish Government.
The highly skilled jobs in the tech sector that this investment supports is allowing Scotland’s economy to adapt and develop to be fit for the challenges of an increasingly digital age – and the Scottish Government continues to invest to encourage more people, particularly women, into developing skills in STEM subjects at university level, giving them the ability to support this burgeoning industry for decades to come, as well as through the STEM Strategy published last year.
Commenting, SNP MSP for Angus North and Mearns, Mairi Gougeon, said:
“These figures show what a positive role the Scottish Government is playing in supporting Scotland’s modern economy.
“Since the SNP came to power, we have seen a 90% increase in the number of software and electronic publishing firms registered in Scotland – in no small part thanks to the SNP’s policies to support new, small businesses and the multi-million pound investment in the sector.
“We have invested nearly £28 million over the last five years, helping new firms get up and running and supporting those already leading the way – as well as publishing a ground-breaking STEM Strategy to help support this key sector.
“Not only that, this sector is a major employer right across the country, with over 42,000 people working in the industry.
“This proves the Scottish Government’s commitment to developing and supporting Scotland’s new economy, both now and in the future – giving us the skills and expertise to build a strong, modern economy for decades to come.”


The figures were released by the Scottish Government in parliamentary questions from Mairi Gougeon:

Question S5W-15840: Mairi Gougeon, Angus North and Mearns, Scottish National Party
To ask the Scottish Government how many registered software and electronic publishing enterprises there have been in each year since 2008.

Answered by Paul Wheelhouse:
The number of VAT and/or PAYE registered software and electronic publishing enterprises, for 2008 to 2017, in Scotland are provided in the following table. Note that these figures refer to all registered enterprises operating in Scotland regardless of where the enterprise is based.
Number of registered enterprises in Scotland, 2008-2017:

  2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Software and Electronic Publishing 3,805 3,830 3,905 4,365 4,880 5,195 5,725 6,220 6,940 7,265

Source: Growth Sector Statistics Database, Businesses in Scotland 2017, Scottish Government.
1. These figures exclude enterprises classified as both central or local government.
2. Software and Electronic Publishing is defined as the following Standard Industrial Classification 2007 codes:

  • SIC 58.29 – Other software publishing
  • SIC 62.01/2 – Business and domestic software development
  • SIC 62.02 – Computer consultancy activities

Question S5W-15841: Mairi Gougeon, Angus North and Mearns, Scottish National Party
To ask the Scottish Government what support it has provided to the software and electronic publishing sector since 2008.

Answered by Fiona Hyslop:
Scottish Enterprise can provide data for the past 5 years which shows that over that time period (to the end of the financial year 2016-2017) they have invested just under £28 million (£27.9 million) in software and electronic publishing.
During this period Creative Scotland has supported projects that align with their stated priorities and involve businesses in the software and electronic publishing sector as partners in creative projects. However, they have no specific funding schemes for digital businesses, nor do they routinely capture SIC codes of applicants in order to report against sub-sectors of the creative industries. All Regularly Funded Organisations are expected to describe how they engage with this sub-sector as part of their Digital Connecting Theme and Creative Scotland has in the past also run time-limited programmes that were open to applications from the sector, i.e. The Innovation and Light Bytes programmes.

Question S5W-15842: Mairi Gougeon, Angus North and Mearns, Scottish National Party
To ask the Scottish Government how many people have been employed in the software and electronic publishing sector in each year since 2008.

Answered by Jamie Hepburn:
Table 1 shows the estimated level of total employment within Scotland’s software and electronic publishing sector from 2009 to 2017. January-December 2017 is the most recent Annual Population Survey data available.
Table 1: Total employment in software
and electronic publishing, Scotland, 2009-2017

Year Employment (000s)
Jan-Dec 2009                  23,000
Jan-Dec 2010 20,000
Jan-Dec 2011 24,000
Jan-Dec 2012 30,200
Jan-Dec 2013 31,800
Jan-Dec 2014 29,100
Jan-Dec 2015 35,000
Jan-Dec 2016 41,900
Jan-Dec 2017 42,500

Source: Annual Population Survey
*Figures rounded to nearest 100.
1. The ‘software and electronic publishing sector’ is defined as including the following Standard Industrial Classification 2007:
58.29 Other software Publishing
62.01/2 Business and domestic software development
62.02 Computer consultancy activities
This definition is consistent with the Scottish Government’s Growth Sector definition of ‘Digital Industries’. More details can found in the Growth Sectors Database at the link shown below:

2. The industry classification SIC 2007 was introduced to the Annual Population Survey in 2009. It is therefore not possible from this source to produce a consistent estimate of employment in this sector for 2008.

Scottish Government STEM Strategy:

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