Responding to today’s speech by Prime Minister Theresa May MP, Julian David, CEO of techUK, commented:
“We need to send out a clear message around the world that the UK will be the very best place for businesses to locate, innovate, scale and grow. Today’s speech by the Prime Minister was very positive. It hit a lot of the right notes for innovative tech businesses that have to make important decisions in the months ahead about where to invest following the EU referendum. Tech companies will react very positively to the Prime Minister’s commitment to backing tech and innovation to create winners right across the UK economy. Theresa May is absolutely right to focus on the need to drive up R&D investment in the UK – something that techUK has repeatedly called for. She is also right to focus on big transformational technologies being driven by techUK members such as robotics, artificial intelligence and quantum technologies – all areas where the UK can lead the world. Her focus on “backing the innovators, and backing the long-term investors” and the clear recognition that the UK must do more to back fast scaling businesses is again something that techUK has repeatedly called for. Implemented correctly, all these moves will kick-start long-term productivity growth for the UK.
“Access to talent at every level is vital for the tech sector. We have to invest in our own talent pipeline and attract the brightest and the best from around the world. The Prime Minister is right that more must be done to boost STEM skills and technical education. But we also prize creativity so it would be good to hear the PM talking about a more rounded STEAM that recognises the importance of the arts. From making the apprenticeship levy work for tech scale-ups to supporting teaching in schools, including delivering on the new computing curriculum, the Government must make the UK’s future skills pipeline a central pillar of its forthcoming Industrial Strategy.”
“It is encouraging to hear that UK tech businesses and our world-leading universities will continue to be able to access world-leading talent – this is vital for growth. techUK will work closely with the Government on both driving a revolution in our domestic skills talent pipeline and creating a world class low friction immigration system that ensures the UK economy remains open and flexible to the needs of fast growing businesses”.
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