Tay Cities Region Deal

Tay Cities Deal Digital Skills Project - Call for Expressions of Interest

About the Project

The Tay Cities Digital Skills Project is part of a £20 million investment under the Regional Skills and Employability Development Programme, funded by the Scottish Government. Approved in December 2022, the Digital Skills Project was awarded over £1.5m of government funding, over a 3 year period to support regional economic growth and the digital labour market throughout Angus, Dundee, North East Fife and Perth & Kinross.

The objectives for the project are to:

  1. Understand and satisfy businesses’ digital and data requirements in the region, across all sectors not just the technology industry.
  2. Identify and plug the digital skills gaps where they exist across the region.
  3. Embed skills, supporting digital and data-driven innovation across a wide range of sectors, enabling businesses to adapt and compete in a future digital economy.
  4. Increase opportunities for specialist roles within the Digital and Creative Industries.
  5. Create an unrivalled talent pool across the region.

The Digital Skills Project aims to achieve these objectives through activities, initiatives and training programmes related to skilling, re-skilling and upskilling in digital and data skills. The project has a specific focus on inclusive growth, focusing on supporting under – represented groups to upskill and reskill in intermediate, advanced and professional digital and data skills.

The project will deliver a regional approach to addressing the digital skills gap through partnership working across industry sectors, local authorities, universities, colleges, private and the third sector.

About the Digital Skills Gap

The Tay Cities Region hosts around 8,000 jobs directly related to digital and data roles with a further 1500 job openings estimated between 2023 and 2025. These jobs cut across every sector of the economy including the public sector, health and social care, construction and manufacturing.

Yet, it is estimated 75% of Scottish businesses find recruiting qualified individuals with up-to-date digital skills a challenge. Digital and data skills are also becoming a requirement for traditionally non – technology related roles. The Digital Skills Economy Action Plan (DESAP) published in 2023 by SDS states that almost all jobs require some level of digital skills.

The digital skills gap is growing for several reasons, including:

  1. The rapid pace of technological change requiring organisations and individuals to continuously update their digital skills.
  2. The digital transformation of non tech industries such as manufacturing and construction resulting in the increased need for workers with digital skills such as AI, Data Analysis, Cyber Security and Programming.
  3. Underrepresentation of minority groups such as women, people with disabilities and people for BME backgrounds facing barriers to access training and development opportunities and contributing to the skills gap.
  4. Limited access to digital infrastructure and training programmes in remote and rural areas, contributing to the digital skills gap in the Tay Cities Region and acting as a barrier for businesses to adapt to technological change.
  5. Encouraging existing workers to upskill or reskill in digital areas can be a challenge, especially in sectors with traditional working practices.
  6. Challenges facing the current education system including a shortage of computer science teachers.

About the Funding

The Digital Skills Project is asking for expressions of interest for new or innovative pilot programmes, activities, or initiatives to address the digital skills gap in the Tay Cities Region. Funding is available from £5,000 up to the value of £45,000.

The Digital Skills Project expects to go out to tender in early 2024.

The Digital Skills Project is looking for proposals to help support individuals, organisations and businesses upskill in data and digital skills. Please note this project does not cover basic digital skills.

Skills Level DESAP Definitions Example of skills
Basic Digital Adoption Accessing a computer, email, navigating the web, using word documents.
Intermediate Digital Transition Adopting and using digital tools such as e-commerce platforms, CRM systems, understanding the value of data.
Advanced Integrated Digital Skills Digital Marketing, website management, ability to use data visualisation tools etc.
Professional Professional Digital Skills Software Development, Cyber Security, Data Analytics, Cloud Security


  • Participants must live or work in the Tay Cities Region (Angus, Dundee, North East Fife and Perth & Kinross).
  • Activity must focus on advanced, intermediate and professional skills. See Appendix 1 for guidance.
  • Activities should be piloted for a maximum of 6 months and are expected to be delivered by 10th March 2025.
  • Funding should not be used to replace or supplement existing funding.

We are particularly interested in responses that:

  • Address the underrepresentation of women, people with disabilities (including neurodiversity) and people from black and ethnic minority communities in technology.
  • Target individuals from remote and rural areas.
  • Target individuals from low SMID areas.
  • Target existing workers to upskill or reskill in digital areas, in particular, sectors where workers are likely to be affected by advancements in technology, or sectors that been disproportionately affected by the Covid 19 pandemic and EU Exit.
  • Demonstrate partnership working between third sector organisations, education or training providers and local employers to meet a specific skills gaps or training needs.

Expressions of Interest

To submit an Expression of Interest for this project, please download the Expression of Interest form, and return by email to aileen.ohagan@fife.gov.uk by 5pm on Friday 20 October 2023.