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Pulling skills together

‘Tech Army’ harnesses talent for virus projects

Alistair Forbes: ‘ready for the fight’

Furloughed and redundant software developers are being recruited as volunteers to tackle critical coronavirus projects in the public sector.

Their skills are being harnessed by a newly-formed group styling themselves the Scottish Tech Army.

They will work with CivTech, the Scottish Government programme, to place volunteers in to key projects.

The Scottish Tech Army project has been co-founded by seasoned Edinburgh-based entrepreneurs Alistair Forbes and Peter Jaco to build a Covid-19 rapid reaction force.

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Mr Forbes, formerly Head of Software and Internet at investment firm Mercia Technologies, said: “Scotland’s tech community is ready to join this fight.

“Data and digital technologies are key weapons in the fight against the coronavirus and we’ll be able to rapidly deploy the resources and skills needed to tackle the outbreak and support the people who are being affected.”

Paul Atkinson, founder of recruitment firm Head Resourcing, which is supporting the Scottish Tech Army, added: “The Scottish Tech Army will not only help the public sector to complete vital projects but will also give participants the chance to keep their skills sharp for when it’s time to return to work.

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“When you’re in a fight, you don’t want your top people sitting in their bedrooms playing computer games or vegetating on the sofa in front of the television – you want them putting their digital skills to good use and that’s exactly what the Scottish Tech Army will do.”

Volunteers can sign up to join the Scottish Tech Army on the website at The web site also provides a mechanism for individuals and organisations to suggest project ideas that the Scottish Tech Army can tackle.

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