Our ambition is for Scotland to be the inventor and the manufacturer of the innovations and technologies of the future – not just the consumer of them.
And with research suggesting that 65 per cent of children in preschool today will work in jobs or careers that don’t yet exist, it is vital that we’re creating those jobs now.
Here’s how Scotland is ahead of the game on the jobs of the future.
In 2017 Scotland’s space sector generated £2.5 billion in turnover – higher than either the aerospace or defence sectors – and has grown by a staggering 71 per cent since 2010.
In fact, Glasgow now builds more satellites than any other European city and Prestwick is in a strong position to host the UK’s first spaceport.
The games industry
The latest version of Grand Theft Auto, developed in Scotland, has now sold 85 million copies worldwide and was the fastest-selling entertainment product in history.
Abertay University in Dundee was the first university in the world to offer taught courses in games programming and artwork – last year their courses were ranked the best in Europe and in the top 20 worldwide.
Over 1,500 people are now employed in the industry in Scotland – up 27 per cent over 2016-17. With £11.5 million of Scottish Government investment, the number of video games companies in Scotland has trebled from 35 in 2011 to 105 in 2017.
The number of software enterprises registered in Scotland has increased by over 90 per cent 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.
The sector has benefited from almost £28 million of Scottish Government support through Scottish Enterprise over the five years to 2016-17.
Scotland is a leader on the circular economy, where we try to keep precious resources in use for as long as possible. In fact, last year the Scottish Government won the Award for Circular Economy Governments, Cities and Regions at the World Economic Forum summit at Davos.
Scotland is now set to become the first part of the UK to introduce a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles and cans and is exploring new ways to reduce single use plastic.
Scotland’s renewables sector is booming. Wind power alone supports 10,000 jobs in Scotland – with offshore jobs increasing by 300 per cent since the year 2000. And we’re home to the world’s first large scale tidal energy farm.
We’ve exceeded our target of producing 50 per cent of our electricity needs from renewables by 2015 – and we want to go further. To keep making progress, we’ve created a new £60 million Innovation Fund, providing extra support for low carbon infrastructure.
Our ambition is for Scotland to be a world leader on innovative advanced manufacturing. That’s why we’ve invested £8.9 million in a Lightweight Manufacturing Centre in Renfrew, as a first step towards the establishment of a National Manufacturing Institute.
And to invest in the innovative jobs of the future, we’re establishing a National Investment Bank.