Digital Start Fund

 

Digital skills can help you land a well-paid career with long-term security. But accessing the training you need to get started is often costly. That’s why the Digital Start Fund has been created, to help people on lower incomes gain skills in software development and cyber security. 

For general enquiries, please contact DigitalStartFund@sds.co.uk

The support you need to thrive in digital

If you are on a lower income, the Digital Start Fund could offer you a grant to help pay for training. A million pounds in total is available through the fund provided by Scottish Government, and managed by Skills Development Scotland. Apply and you could be awarded between £1,000 and £8,000 to cover training in software development and cyber security. This will be paid straight to your training provider. Funding may also be available for travel and childcare costs if you need it.

A foot in the door of a major growth industry

There are thousands of new jobs available in the digital sphere each year. These include jobs requiring specific tech-focused skills – like software development and cyber security – as well as jobs in areas like marketing, HR, data, and finance. Take a look at our Industries and Jobs area to get a sense of just how much is out there.

Boost your earning power

High demand for digital skills often means a high salary for those who fit the bill. In the digital industry, salaries average around £37,500 – well above the national average salary of £28,000.

A training type for everyone

You can access training even if you don't have any digital experience. There are a variety of training lengths and locations available through the fund, all of which will lead to a qualification at SCQF7 level or above, and will be delivered by accredited, approved training providers (see below).

Are you eligible?

To be eligible to apply, you’ll need to be resident in Scotland and have the right to work in the UK.

You will also have to either:

  • receive Universal Credit or other income-based benefits

OR

  • face two or more barriers to work, such as being an army veteran, having a disability, living in an area with a high unemployment rate, being aged 54 or older, or being homeless (for further information about recognised barriers to work visit here).

Please note that recent graduates (within the last 12 months) aren’t eligible to apply.

Applications

The fund is still open for applications, HOWEVER due to the success of the programme, not all training providers are able to accept new applicants at the moment. Dumfries & Galloway College, GTS Solutions and ScotlandIS are the only organisations delivering training just now. Please get in touch with them directly using the contact details below. We are currently developing a plan to enhance and extend the funding for 2020/21. 

Training Providers

Provider: CodeClan                

Course Title: Professional Software Development Course                 

Brief Description:  

Our full-time Professional Software Development courses delivered in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and Full Stack Web Development course in Inverness, are fast-paced and immersive, giving you a solid foundation in the key digital skills that employers want. You’ll start with 3 weeks of pre-course work to get you up to speed, then embark on the full 16 weeks classroom-based course (12-week on Campus delivery in Inverness), all delivered by professional developers. You'll be taught how to set up your development environment, write code that is clean and understandable, use object-oriented programming, user experience design, test driven development and Agile practices to develop well-functioning products You will also have the chance to gain SQA’s Professional Development Award in Software Development (SCQF Level 8).  

Course days/hours:

Full time Monday - Friday (9:00am-4:30pm) across 16-weeks

Delivery Location:

Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness

Course contact name for more information:

Stephanie Paterson (Head of Admissions) Email: admissions@codeclan.com  Tel: 0131 290 2600. 

Provider: GTS Solutions

Course Title:  HNC in Cyber Security

Brief Description

This comprehensive HNC in Cyber Security is designed to develop the transferrable skills required by employers and/or universities to meet the huge demand for skilled operators in the world of online protection. Learners will complete 7 compulsory units, and 4 optional units, ranging from computer architecture to ethical hacking, and computer networks through to cyber security ethics and programming.

This modern and flexible qualification will equip you with the practical skills and knowledge to allow progression to higher education or employment in the information security industry.

Course days/hours: TBC

Delivery Location: TBC

Course contact name for more information:

Chris Thewlis Email: Chris@gtssolutionscic.com

Provider: North Highland College

Course Title: Cyber Security Skills

Brief Description: An exciting online course designed to deliver understanding, knowledge and skills of auditing and ethical hacking, in the world of cyber security.   This course will offer applicants the opportunity to achieve an SQA accredited award at Level 7/8.    Students on this course will have opportunity to hear from employers about their requirements for industry, and interview skills, CV writing and the development of employability skills will be integrated.

While it would be beneficial for applicants to have some prior knowledge and skills in computer science/networking, no previous knowledge or experience is required.  Prior to acceptance on this course, potential applicants will require to demonstrate an appropriate level of analytical skills and core skills ability in communication, numeracy and Computer Science at SCQF level 5.

Course days/hours: The course will start on mid-November (TBC) and end on 27 March 2020, with students expected to contribute at least 7.5 hours per week to online study and activity, for the duration of the course. 

Delivery Location: Online Learning

Course contact name for more information:

Karen Spencer, Email:  Karen.Spencer@uhi.ac.uk

PROVIDER: DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY COLLEGE

Course Title: CISCO IT Essentials

Brief Description:                                                       
This 12 week programme covers Cyber Security Skills, where clients will learn how to install, configure and troubleshoot mobile devices, identify common security threats like phishing and spoofing, alongside developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills, using real equipment.  No formal education requirements are necessary, but will be required to demonstrate a basic knowledge of computer skills.

Course days/hours: 16 week course, candidate decides how many days and hours a week to spend on each chapter

Delivery Location: Online Learning

Course contact name for more information:           
Sharyn Mayes, Email: mayess@dumgal.ac.uk Tel: 01387 734193

PROVIDER: CODE DIVISION

Course Title: Business and Data Skills

Brief Description

This 10 week course has been specifically designed to prepare learners with the necessary data skills to work within a business environment.  The course will cover how data is used and presented through key technologies, tools and work practices; word processing, presenting information, spreadsheets, databases and other digital tools.

Learners will develop essential technical and business skills demonstrated by an e-portfolio of their work.  They will also gain SQA accreditation through a PDA in Information Technology in Business (Level 7). 

Learners will be supported by tutors, work based assessors, industry mentors and a designated online course.  There will be industry insights on specific topics; data security, data analytics and sharing data.  Learners will also collaborate on a group project where there will have an opportunity to showcase their work to industry professionals.

This course would be suitable for individuals who have:

  • Good digital skills.
  • One Higher at Grade C or above.
  • NQ Qualifications at Level 6
  • HNC/HND/Degree (As long as it was not completed in the last 12 months)   
  • Other relevant qualifications or experience.

We will accept each student on an individual basis but the main criteria is a genuine desire to work in the tech sector.  We will also be able to help towards subsidising your travel and child care.

Course days/hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30 – 4PM                            

Delivery Location: Falkirk

Course contact name for more information: 

Helen Love, Email: hlove@codedivision.co.uk Tel: 07766446001

PROVIDER: CODE DIVISION

Course Title: Technology and Data Skills

Brief Description

This 10 week course has been specifically designed to prepare learners with the necessary data skills to work within the tech industry.  The course will cover the flow of data through key technologies, tools and methodologies utilised by developers; Java and python programming, front end frameworks, object oriented lifecycle, SQL and relational databases.

Through the course learners will develop essential technical and business skills demonstrated by an e-portfolio of their work.  They will also gain SQA accreditation through a PDA in Software Development (Level 7). 

Learners will be supported by tutors, work based assessors, industry mentors and a designated online course.  There will be industry insights on specific topics; Cyber Security, Data Analytics and UX Design. Learners will also collaborate on a group project where there will be an opportunity to showcase their work to industry professionals.

This course would be suitable for individuals who have:

  • Good digital skills.
  • One Higher at Grade C or above.
  • NQ Qualifications at Level 6
  • HNC/HND/Degree (As long as it was not completed in the last 12 months)   
  • Other relevant qualifications or experience.

We will accept each student on an individual basis but the main criteria is a genuine desire to work in the tech sector.  We will also be able to help towards subsidising your travel and child care.

Course days/hours: Monday to Friday, 9:30 – 4PM

Delivery Location: Glasgow

Course contact name for more information: 

Frank Duffy, Email: fduffy@codedivision.co.uk Tel: 07775444151

PROVIDER: SCOTLAND IS 

Course Title: Fundamentals of Computing

Brief Description: We are offering eligible individuals the chance to undertake our 10 week long free online course which will lead to you obtaining an SCQF Level 6 qualification in Fundamentals of Computing.

This course is designed for candidates who have at least a basic knowledge of computers, and who are interested in security and computer networking.

So, if you can switch on a computer, send and receive emails, shop online and are social media savvy, you are half-way there.

While it would be beneficial for applicants to have some prior knowledge, it is not essential, however potential applicants will be required to complete a CISCO certification that can also be added to your CV and growing list of newly earned skills.

The aim of the CISCO course is to explore the field of cyber security, you will do the following:

  • Learn the basics of being safe online.
  • Learn about different types of malware and attacks, and how organizations are protecting themselves against these attacks.
  • Explore the career options in cyber security.

By the end of this course, you will be more aware of the importance of being safe online, the potential consequences of cyber attacks, and possible career options in cyber security.

This is an approx. 10 hour introductory course designed to give you a taste of online learning that will prepare you for being successful in your online studies over the coming weeks.

Course days/hours: The course will start on the 2nd of March 2020 and will require approximately 12 hours of study per week for 10 weeks.

Delivery Location: Online Learning

Course contact name for more information:

Nicola Taylor email – nicola.taylor@scotlandis.com 01506 472200