Cole-Hamilton calls for action on Edinburgh CodeClan closure

8 Aug 2023

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and Edinburgh Western MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton has today called on the Scottish Government to secure Scottish tech talent and take action to ensure that digital skills training agency CodeClan is rescued from administration, warning that its collapse will have an outsize impact on Scotland’s technological future.

The company was established in 2015 with Scottish Government seed funding, to focus on bridging the critical digital skills gap in Scotland and supporting a new generation of digital talent from all backgrounds and professions to learn the fundamentals of software programming.

After being “significantly” impacted by Covid, the company was placed in liquidation on Friday, with all 57 employees being made redundant.

Mr Cole-Hamilton has now written to the Scottish Economy Secretary Neil Gray to ask what support can be provided.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

“This closure is a blow to Scotland’s prospects as a tech powerhouse and one that could have an outsize impact on Scotland’s technological future.

“If you are serious about securing highly skilled, high wage jobs both from established firms and from start-ups then Scotland cannot simply rely on importing tech talent from abroad, it must develop its own world class product-building talent.

“Codeclan was an effective, extremely cheap way to create tech talent, taking on people from a range of backgrounds and giving them the skills they need to flourish in these industries. You never know where the next Google, SkyScanner or Deliveroo will come from but it certainly won’t be here if resources like this are allowed to wither away.

“The Economy Secretary should immediately speak with Scottish Enterprise and set out what can be done to ensure that this resource is not lost of Scotland. If this were a firm whose assets were in industrial equipment there is no way they would be allowed to expire with barely a whimper from the government.”