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Digital Start Fund - Open for Applications

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 data analysis, software development and cyber security. 

For general enquiries, please contact DigitalStartFund@sds.co.uk. To apply, please contact training providers directly. Details of courses and providers are listed below.

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 SCQF 6 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, or be eligible for, Universal Credit or other income-based benefits.

OR

  • Low Income employed and face two or more barriers, such as being an armed forces 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).

OR 

  • Currently economically inactive as a result of a COVID-19 employment shock with a household income below the Scottish median.

Please note the courses that are currently available are not open to recent graduates in the last 12 months. 

Training Providers

PROVIDER: DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY COLLEGE

Course Title: CISCO IT Essentials at SCQF Level 6

Brief description

During the programme 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. 

Once the induction process has taken place, the course will be undertaken at a time suitable for each individual.  They can continue to work through the course at their own pace with support from their mentor and their peers on the course

Dedicated dates and times will be issued to clients when they commence the course enabling them to come together through online technology to speak with their mentor and other clients face-to-face through Skype or Teams.  This way clients will not feel that they are working on their own and will have the opportunity to share their experiences and any best practice tips and advice can be shared by the mentor.

The blended learning approach makes this twelve-week programme more accessible.  Clients will be able to access the materials from various venues such as home, College, libraries etc.  The College has a state-of-the-art digital hub in which clients would be able to access their mentor via digital technology, therefore allowing more clients to participate, who are likely to be in more remote areas of the Dumfries & Galloway region or across Scotland.

Course days/hours:

12 Week Programme – Dedicated dates and times to be issued to clients when they commence

Delivery location:

Online technology – face to face through Skype or Teams

Course contact:

Sharyn Mayes

mayess@dumgal.ac.uk

01387 734193

 

PROVIDER: NEW COLLEGE LANARKSHIRE

Course Title:  Update/Reskill in Cyber Security

Brief Description

In this fast-paced digital age, networking, administration and security of computer systems is vital across all businesses, sectors and industries.   Recent security breaches have been widely reported and reinforce the importance of cyber security for all businesses. This subject specific course will contain an SQA National Progression Award in Cyber Security Fundamentals, covering cyber security essentials, with a focus on identifying security weaknesses safely, legally and ethically. Learners will gain and develop vital knowledge and skills in analysis of current trends in cybercrime, penetration testing on computer systems, digital forensics processes, evaluating digital evidence and creating security strategies for small businesses.

Course days/hours:

3 days

Delivery Location:

Motherwell/Coatbridge/Cumbernauld

Course contact:

Charlie Johnstone / Brendan Burns

Charlie.johnstone@nclan.ac.uk

brendan.burns@nclan.ac.uk

0300 555 8080

 

PROVIDER: GLASGOW LIFE

Course Title: Glasgow Code Learning (GCL) Pro: Cyber Resilience 

Brief Description

GCL Pro is designed to be flexible so that you can fit your studies around your other commitments. Glasgow Life works in partnership with Glasgow Clyde College to deliver the course as 3 x 3 hour online classes a week for 12 weeks. You’ll be invited to take part in a mixture of tutor-led lectures, practical sessions, projects and discussion sessions.

The aim of this course is to provide learners with foundation knowledge and skills in cyber security. This Cyber Resilience course is ideal for anyone who has a basic computing ability and wishes to develop the appropriate skills of the discipline of cyber security. You’ll learn about the different cyber threats individuals and businesses face and how to deal with them using practical tools and techniques. You will also study the legal and behavioural aspects of cyber security, learning about personal privacy, rights management and data security as well as various non-technical techniques used by attackers.

All course completers will be awarded the SQA’s Professional Development Award (PDA) in Cyber Resilience at SCQF level 7.

Every Pro learner is matched with an expert industry mentor to support learners’ personal development on a 1-to-1 basis throughout their 12 weeks on the programme, while our partners at Skills Development Scotland provide live job and apprenticeship vacancies, 1-to-1 application support and careers information and awareness.

As a GCL learner we offer you a community of supportive tutors, access to laptops, software and connectivity, additional 1-to-1 support sessions and guidance on starting a career in the Digital Technologies sector. On enrolment with Clyde College, you’ll also receive a student card and have access to the facilities at all three of Clyde College’s campuses.

Register now for the Pro Cyber Resilience course by following the link here or via the GCL webpages.

Course days/hours:

Part-time, approx. 3 x 3 hour sessions a week, Monday – Friday for 12 weeks. Courses start on 29th November 2021 and run until 4th March 2022.

Delivery Location:

Online delivery with access to facilities at Glasgow Clyde College campuses.

Course contact:

Mark West (Employability Skills Project Officer)

mark.west@glasgowlife.org.uk

07768325640

 

PROVIDER: WEST LOTHIAN COLLEGE

Course Title:  Get into Cyber Security

Brief Description

West Lothian College are delighted to be able to offer the NPA in Cyber Security SCQF Level 6 in conjunction with The Prince’s Trust.

With cybercrime on the rise there are more and more instances of ransomware attacks or data breaches, this course will teach you to be more vigilant and how to protect individuals and businesses from becoming victims of cyber-crime and how to detect and investigate cyber intrusions.

You will learn the basics of cyber security from legislation to the hands on practical’s. The course will give you a foundation and knowledge of cyber security.

You will learn to identify security issues, analyse and trace evidence of security breaches and gain an understanding of how to hack a system.

Our partners Prince’s Trust will give offer wrap around pastoral support and deliver non-technical skills.  We will offer an insight into the industry with talks from various partner organisations.

Partners will be organising interviews for all course participants with an employer in the cyber security industry.

Course days/hours: 

3 days with the college and 1 day with The Princes Trust.

Delivery location: 

online

Course contact:

Angela Bell

abell@west-lothian.ac.uk

 

PROVIDER: CODECLAN                

Course Title: Professional Software Development

Brief Description

CodeClan’s Professional Software Development course is designed to give you the skills you need to launch a new career as a professional developer. You’ll learn some of the most widely used technologies and methodologies in tech and development today, while picking up the skills and confidence to gain a role in a new industry. 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:

Monday to Thursday 9am until 5pm, Fridays 10am until 3pm

Delivery Location:

Remotely via CodeClan’s live, interactive, instructor led, virtual classroom.

In person at CodeClan’s Edinburgh campus.

Course contact:

Susan Considine

susan.considine@codeclan.com

admissions@codeclan.com

0131 290 2600

 

PROVIDER: CODECLAN

Course Title: Software Development

Brief Description

CodeClan’s Software Development course is designed to give you the skills you need to launch a new career as a professional developer. You’ll learn some of the most widely used technologies and methodologies in tech and development today, while picking up the skills and confidence to gain a role in a new industry. 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).

This is awarded under the North East Economic Recovery and Skills Fund with the following additional conditions:

  • Age 25+
  • Resident in Aberdeen City or Aberdeenshire Local Authority areas. 

Course days/hours:

12 weeks (plus pre-course work): Monday to Thursday 9am until 5pm, Fridays 10am until 3pm

Delivery Location:

Remotely via CodeClan’s live, interactive, instructor led, virtual classroom.

Course contact:

Susan Considine

admissions@codeclan.com

0131 290 2600

 

PROVIDER: GLASGOW LIFE

Course Title: Glasgow Code Learning (GCL) `Pro: Software Development

Brief Description

GCL Pro is designed to be flexible so that you can fit your studies around your other commitments. Glasgow Life works in partnership with Glasgow Clyde College to deliver the course as 3 x 3 hour online classes a week for 12 weeks. You’ll be invited to take part in a mixture of tutor-led lectures, practical sessions, projects and discussion sessions.

The aim of this course is to provide learners with programming skills. This Software Development course is ideal for anyone who has a basic computing ability and wishes to develop the fundamental knowledge and practical skills required to solve problems by developing computer programs in a high level language. You’ll learn about key concepts in the IT sector, including traditional and contemporary trends in software development methodologies and the principles and practices of computer programming. You will also test your skills in projects that implement and test practical solutions to set problems. 

All course completers will be awarded the SQA’s Professional Development Award (PDA) in Software Development at SCQF level 7.

Every Pro learner is matched with an expert industry mentor to support learners’ personal development on a 1-to-1 basis throughout their 12 weeks on the programme, while our partners at Skills Development Scotland provide live job and apprenticeship vacancies, 1-to-1 application support and careers information and awareness.

As a GCL learner we offer you a community of supportive tutors, access to laptops, software and connectivity, additional 1-to-1 support sessions and guidance on starting a career in the Digital Technologies sector. On enrolment with Clyde College, you’ll also receive a student card and have access to the facilities at all three of Clyde College’s campuses.

Register now for the Pro Software Development course by following the link here or via the GCL webpages.

Course days/hours:

Part-time, approx. 3 x 3 hour sessions a week, Monday – Friday for 12 weeks. Courses start on 29th November 2021 and run until 4th March 2022.

Delivery Location

Online delivery with access to facilities at Glasgow Clyde College campuses.

Course contact:

Mark West (Employability Skills Project Officer)

mark.west@glasgowlife.org.uk

07768325640

 

PROVIDER: NEW COLLEGE LANARKSHIRE

Course Title: Update/Reskill in Coding

Brief Description

In this fast-paced digital age, networking, administration and security of computer systems is vital across all businesses, sectors and industries. This subject specific course contains an SQA National Progression Award in Coding Fundamentals, covering the essentials of coding; basic coding techniques will be introduced and explained, and participants will develop skills in writing code in Python.  They will gain fundamental knowledge required to design, develop and test software applications. Knowledge will be developed in software development principles, and there will be an opportunity to gain and enhance skills in software development languages and environments, high-level language constructs and standard algorithms.

Course days/hours:

3 days

Delivery location:

Motherwell/Coatbridge/Cumbernauld

Course contact:

Charlie Johnstone / Brendan Burns

charlie.johnstone@nclan.ac.uk

brendan.burns@nclan.ac.uk

0300 555 8080

 

PROVIDER: NEW COLLEGE LANARKSHIRE

Course Title: Update/Reskill in Networking

Brief Description

In this fast-paced digital age, networking, administration and security of computer systems is vital across all businesses, sectors and industries.  This subject specific course will contain an SQA National Progression Award in Professional Computer Fundamentals covering the essentials of networking with a focus on the underpinning theory and practice of computer networking. Participants will gain and develop knowledge and skills in the management of computer networks. Specifically, they will cover types of networks, network devices, use of network protocols and network utilities in data transfer, network security and server management. 

Course days/hours:

3 days

Delivery location:

Motherwell/Coatbridge/Cumbernauld

Course contact:

Charlie Johnstone / Brendan Burns

charlie.johnstone@nclan.ac.uk

brendan.burns@nclan.ac.uk

0300 555 8080

 

PROVIDER: PRIME TALENT LIMITED

Course Title: Skill Tech in Cloud Computing 

Brief description 

This project seeks to equip 50 Glasgow & Edinburgh residents with a specialist in-demand Cloud Computing skills, via a 12-week on-line instructor led Amazon Web Services (AWS) re/Start training course. The program offers a recognised, accredited Level 6 qualification. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner in Cloud Computing, that employers want. 

The program is for Universal Credit or income-related benefits claimants, workers at risk of redundancy, career changers and for individuals facing two or more barriers or disadvantages as defined by current Scottish Government European Structural and Investment Funds Participant Guidance. 

Skill Tech is a 12-week full time program delivered by Primed Talent, an approved and experienced Amazon Web Services (AWS) re/Start Collaborating Organisation. Our program offers a formal, accredited qualification in Cloud Computing i.e. AWS certified Cloud Practitioner (Level 6 SHVQ) that employers want. We have proprietary access to AWS qualification curriculum content, lab infrastructure, practice tests, certification vouchers, program co-ordinators and AWS volunteer networks. Skill Tech gives individuals an immersive and rapid journey that aligns to jobs in Cloud and Cloud-adjacent entry level roles in areas such as Cloud Operations, Site Reliability, Infrastructure Support and DevOps. 

Skill Tech supports learners with employability skills, (CV writing, mock interviews, digital presence and profile) and connects them with hiring employers alongside technical learning. 

Course days/hours:

12 weeks

Delivery Location:

Virtual Delivery. Glasgow & Edinburgh

Course contact:

Vatsla

vatsla@primedtalent.com

+442086385457

 

PROVIDER: CODECLAN              

Course Title: Professional Data Analysis                  

Brief Description

Transform and future-proof your career by getting the skills and knowledge to become a professional data analyst.

CodeClan’s accredited Professional Data Analysis course is delivered in a practical, hands-on way and is focussed on giving you the skills and knowledge needed to work as a data analyst. Our curriculum is expertly designed in collaboration with industry to give you the grounding in technical and soft skills to grow a successful career in data analysis. You will also have the chance to gain SQA’s Professional Development Award in Data Science (SCQF Level 8).

Course days/hours:

Monday to Thursday 9am until 5pm, Fridays 10am until 3pm

Delivery Location:

Remotely via CodeClan’s live, interactive, instructor led, virtual classroom.

Course contact:

Susan Considine

susan.considine@codeclan.com

admissions@codeclan.com

0131 290 2600

 

PROVIDER: CODE DIVISION

Course Title: Data Analysis (PDA Data Science Level 8)

Brief Description

This 15-week course utilises different business applications and programming tools (Excel, Power BI, Tableau, Minitab and Python) to analyse data, create visualisations and apply to real-world projects. The goal of the course is not only to strengthen the learner’s technical knowledge, but to strengthen those analytical, creative problem solving and collaboration skills so desperately needed in industry.

Learners are supported throughout their data journey by tutors and industry experts.  The course is delivered online using videos, podcasts, exercises, support workshops and tutorials.  To top it off, this course culminates in a real-world data science project in collaboration with a third sector organisation.

Course days/hours:

Monday to Thursday (Friday – Optional Support and Well Being Classes) 

Delivery Location:

Online

Course contact:

Grace McNair

gracemcnair@codedivision.co.uk

07920069363

 

PROVIDER: CAPITA LEARNING

Course Title:  Digital Bootcamp – Digital Hybrid Data

Brief Description

Digital Hybrid – Data (Qualification Level 7)  BCS Data Management Essentials, CompTIA Data+

Explore principles of statistical Analysis and Data visualisation

  • Calculate basic descriptive stats (median, mode, etc) using Excel for the exercises.  Grouping numeric values and creating histograms 
  • Advanced Excel for Data Analysis (advanced tables, pivot tables and charts and slicers. Excel functions for summarising data e.g. FILTER(), SORT(), UNIQUE() 
  • Fundamentals:  syntax, variables, control flow. 
  • The basic data types: int, float, bool, None 
  • Data structures: lists, tuples and dicts. 
  • Write Functions: arguments, default arguments, return values 
  • Create/use modules and create classes. 
  • Python code editors e.g. VSCode, Google Collab. 
  • Setting up Python and environments 
  • Interactive Python and Jupyter notebooks 
  • Connect to data and build insightful appealing visualisations. 
  • Identify data quality issues from some prepared datasets.  Discuss how to find, fix and avoid data quality issues. 
  • Choose the best visual type (bar, line, scatter, etc) for a dataset. 
  • Filter data, e.g. Top N, relative dates 
  • Organise data into groups and hierarchies.  
  • Use interactive visual techniques; filter and cross-highlight, drill down and drill through to other pages, custom tooltips. 

Course days/hours: 

Full time (20 hours per week) over 10 weeks

Delivery Location:

Virtual 

Course contact:

Adam Brown

Adam.brown@capita.com

07902701436

 

PROVIDER: DATAKIRK

Course Title: Digital & IT (Data Skills) - Fundamentals of Data Science

Brief Description: 

Welcome to the Fundamentals of Data Science at SCQF 6! 'Data scientist' has been described as the sexiest job of the 21st century, with the demand for highly skilled practitioners rising quickly to leverage the increasing amount of data available for study. As the amount of data increases, so too does the need for employees who can extract meaningful insights from this data. This level 6 training provide foundation knowledge and skills in data science to increase awareness of the discipline among learners and provide practical skills in data analysis. The training will also raise awareness of the societal aspects of this important, emerging technology

This level 6 emphasises a hands-on approach to learning data skills; offering blended learning sessions with lab exercises that will let you try out many of the techniques and concepts covered in the taught material. The technical aspects of the course are implemented using Python.

This course will cover:

• Principle of Data Science

• Working with Data

• Data Transformation and Manipulation

• An Introduction to Python Programming

When you attend a training in our online classroom, you’re experiencing all of the benefits of traditional classroom training, but with added flexibility and convenience. By teaching you to leverage data and the latest technologies to drive better business outcomes, we enable you to claim the strategic impact that you deserve. With Virtual Classroom, you learn from a live instructor who is trained to keep you engaged and focused, even when you’re not in the room. The end result is an interactive and immersive learning experience.

Course days/hours: 

Thursdays (6.30pm – 9pm)

Delivery Location: 

Virtual Learning

Course contact: 

Chuks Ododo

info@thedatakirk.org.uk

07792012713