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Digital firms look to attract more talent to Scotland

SOME of Scotland's fastest growing technology employers are seeking to band together to attract talented digital experts to move north of the Border.

Senior figures at internet dating company Cupid, Tesco Bank and flight comparison website Skyscanner have held talks about how they can persuade the technology industry's rising stars to come to Scotland.

Phil Gripton, the new chief executive of Cupid said: "I have been talking to those at Skyscanner and Tesco Bank.

"We are trying to work together to make Edinburgh a much more attractive place to bring in digital talent."

He said that with other potential employers such as Virgin Money and the Scottish Government, digital experts have substantial career options in Edinburgh and Scotland more generally.

Mr Gripton is among those who have been tempted to move north after he relocated from Manchester to Edinburgh on initially joining Cupid as managing director of its dating services business a year ago.

He formally took over as chief executive from Bill Dobbie on December 1 and has succeeded in bringing in a number senior staffers with experience at major digital employers such as Skype and Match.com to the business as he reshaped the team around him.

Mr Gripton said that companies' ability to attract staff depended a lot on the seniority of their target.

"It is reasonably straightforward to bring in talent at certain levels," he said.

"At senior levels it is more tricky to tempt people here.

"It would be much better for us as a digital business if we could attract more people to Scotland."

Nevertheless, he insisted that Scotland offers a "good talent base" for a company like Cupid.

"That allows us to continue to grow in Scotland," he said.

He added: "We are very proud to be a Scottish-based business. We are only in embryonic conversations. We want to be in a situation where we can jointly work to allow people to see there are opportunities for them here."

Cupid employs around 22 people in Edinburgh out of a worldwide workforce of around 250.

Meanwhile, Skyscanner recently moved past the 300 mark in terms of employees as part of a plan to reach 500 over the next year.

Since 2008, Tesco Bank staff numbers have grown from 200 to 4000 - based across four main offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle.

It recently announced plans to create 650 jobs over two years in Scotland as it launches its first current account in the middle of next year.

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