SCOTLAND could become a world leader in “digital inclusion” as the country prepares for the post-pandemic world.

That is one of the conclusions of the updated Digital Strategy developed by the Scottish Government and Cosla in consultation with business and the third sector.

A shared commitment to deliver digital public services that are accessible to all and simple to use would mean that geography, background or ability would not be a barrier to any Scot taking part in a future driven by digital technology.

Setting out the vision for every business to become a digital business, the strategy makes clear that improved digital education for children and continued upskilling of the existing workforce will be crucial if Scotland is to keep pace internationally.

The strategy also aims to support the success of Scotland’s tech industry as an innovative and global player, fostering a network of digital and data talent and attracting inward investment.

Innovation Minister Ivan McKee said: “Digital technology is a source of incredible opportunity – to open new markets, work in new ways, tackle climate change and make links across the globe.

“The pandemic reminds us every day that access to the internet is an essential lifeline and I’m determined to ensure that no one is left behind.

“The response to the pandemic has seen the public and private sectors deliver new services online and at speed. We’ll build on that momentum to support Scotland’s people and its businesses to thrive in the digital world.”

Cosla resources spokesperson Gail Macgregor said: “Digital technologies are changing the way we live our daily lives.

“The Digital Strategy for Scotland sets out an ambitious vision of a Scotland where everyone has the necessary skills and connectivity to thrive and where technology is used to improve access to services designed around the needs of people.”

ScotlandIS, the trade association for Scotland’s digital technologies industry, welcomed the new strategy.

Karen Meechan, interim chief executive of ScotlandIS, said: “Scotland has an opportunity to build one of the world’s best technology ecosystems.

“The Scottish Government’s strategy recognises the opportunity, but it can only be delivered with financial backing, strong leadership and a partnership approach with Scotland’s digital sector from the outset.

“We look forward to working in partnership with the Scottish Government on the strategy’s delivery.”