The UK’s digital economy is a world leader – at 10% of GDP, this is a larger percentage than in any other G20 country. It’s becoming increasingly evident that digital businesses are key drivers of productivity and will underpin the success of the UK’s economy in a post-Brexit world. However, the UK will need 754,000 additional workers with digital skills to meet rising demand from employers between 2013 and 2017. The UK’s enormous digital potential must be matched with the skills and talent to realise the opportunity for the UK to be a global leader in tech for decades to come.
techUK members, who range from innovative start-ups to world-leading global tech companies, face difficulties in accessing the talent they need to grow. The specific skills our members need are advanced/technical digital skills, which are the skills needed to pursue highly-digitally intensive careers, ranging from big data analysts, cyber security specialists, programme developers, software engineers and more.
What are government and industry already doing to have world-leading skills and talent in the UK?
There have been a number of highly positive developments in recent years – many of which have been driven by Government acting on the needs of industry. The introduction of the Computing Curriculum in 2014 and the announcement of the Post-16 skills plan in 2016 are both commendable progressions towards ensuring our future workforce is equipped with the skills they need to thrive. Similarly, the establishment of the Tech Partnership in 2014 as the skills industrial partnership was a significant and welcome step, and the new National College of Digital Skills (known as ‘Ada’) is potentially a transformative new model for 16-18 learning, aligned with needs of industry, which can be replicated and rolled out across the UK.
techUK has a dedicated programme that addresses the skills shortage that many of our members are facing. techUK’s Skills, Talent and Migration Programme is a member forum to explore and promote initiatives and policy to address the lack of talent in the UK tech sector. As well as keeping our members up to date with the latest skills and migration policy, we develop policy recommendations and take practical steps to address the digital talent shortage in the UK. techUK believes the solution to this shortage lies in a policy blend of increased volume and quality of domestic skills, complemented by the UK becoming "a global hub of tech talent" supported by a smart migration policy environment.