Software Engineers (Demand)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at on 6 June 2013.

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Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party

I meet ScotlandIS fairly frequently, but I would be delighted to have a meeting with Mr Coffey and ScotlandIS. I take this opportunity to compliment ScotlandIS on the consistent, positive and productive way in which it advances arguments on the industry’s behalf.

There are significant opportunities in the economy for software engineers. This morning, I had the privilege of opening Plexus’s new design and manufacturing facility at the Pyramids business park in West Lothian, which is a tremendous example of high-skill activity in the Scottish economy. Educational institutions in Scotland are very much focused on producing the necessary skill levels to support the industry. I entirely accept Mr Coffey’s point that our school system needs to be involved in the process. In schools, we particularly need to take action to change the gender balance among those who enter the STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—and the engineering profession. The company that I mentioned is one important example.