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Salmond unveils £6.6m plan to boost job creation in digital technology sector

A £6.6 million funding boost for Scotland's digital technologies sector has been announced to help attract up to 11,000 jobs.

The money will support the development of digital skills and deliver a new skills investment plan, which includes elements such as encouraging more women into the sector and delivering work placements.

First Minister Alex Salmond made the annoucnement on a visit to open the Edinburgh premises of CodeBase, Scotland's largest digital incubator company.

The announcement comes during Make Young People Your Business Week, which focuses on promoting the digital technologies sector to a younger audience while celebrating Scottish successes in the industry.

Scotland's information and communications technology (ICT) and digital technology sectors deliver an estimated £3bn to the Scottish economy and currently employ 73,000 professionals, the Scottish Government said.

Mr Salmond said: "Scotland is at the forefront of digital technology, with skills and expertise that is internationally recognised as among the best in the sector.

"Despite growing demand for skills the number of young people within the sector has not kept pace."

Elements in the plan include aligning education systems to employers' needs, supporting employer engagement with schools and delivering 750 work placements for further education and higher education students by 2016.

It also aims to respond to the immediate skills shortage and develop skills to support the demand of up to 11,000 jobs per year.

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