26 Oct 2021
by Nimmi Patel

How we can become quantum citizens by focusing on digital skills

Upskilling and inclusion was on the agenda as techUK lead the way at the Quantum Computing Summit at London Tech Week 2021, writes Nimmi Patel for techUK's Quantum Week. #QuantumUK

techUK was delighted to be front and centre in the conversations taking place at the Quantum Computing Summit. Among the technical talk came a focus on the skillsets needed to be developed to implement and scale quantum computing in the UK. No country can become a quantum leader without attracting the best talent.

A session chaired by techUK’s Policy Manager for Skills, Talent & Diversity, Nimmi Patel, with panellists: Dr. Rupesh Srivastava, President, OneQuantum Argentina, and Ilan Elson, Vice President of Operations, Universal Quantum, looked at how organisations can start to reformulate the way they think about plugging the skills gap. Have a read of Rupesh’s round up of the session.

Establishing a technical skilling vision through education

The panellists highlighted the need for a co-ordinated skills strategy. Importantly, they believe this strategy must not only be UK focused, but one that emphasises global collaboration. The idea of a ‘quantum citizen’ emerged – where people have the tools they need to truly benefit from quantum technologies.

Driving a diverse and inclusive workforce

Growing quantum computing talent can only be done by driving inclusion. In increasing diversity in tech, we can not only work towards the normative and societal good of equal representation in the sector, but also work towards ensuring an ethical and sustainable approach to the development and use of quantum technology. Ensuring that the pathways into STEM skills and reskilling are open, accessible, and sustainable will allow more people to be aware of the opportunities quantum computing brings.

Skills gaps across tech

The current skills gap in AI and data shows the work needed to upskill people in new and emerging technologies. Such technologies are creating requirements for specialist skills that the labour market is struggling to supply which has led to intensifying competition for talent. The UK Government recently launched its National AI Strategy where skills and talent are central to investing in the long-term needs of the AI ecosystem. Despite investment from Government, this gap remains significant and is growing. Future innovation strategies must outline ways to empower people with the skills they need for their quantum future. It may now be time for a quantum computing strategy so that the skills gaps of today do not widen in the future.

techUK were delighted to chair the Quantum Computing Summit this year. You can read our round up here

 

Quantum Commercialisation Week

Click here to read more insights published during techUK's Quantum Commercialisation Week

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Laura Foster

Laura Foster

Programme Manager, Technology and Innovation, techUK

Laura is techUK’s Programme Manager for Technology and Innovation.

She supports the application and expansion of emerging technologies across business, including Geospatial Data, Quantum Computing, AR/VR/XR and Edge technologies.

Before joining techUK, Laura worked internationally in London, Singapore and across the United States as a conference researcher and producer covering enterprise adoption of emerging technologies. This included being part of the strategic team at London Tech Week.

Laura has a degree in History (BA Hons) from Durham University, focussing on regional social history. Outside of work she loves reading, travelling and supporting rugby team St. Helens, where she is from.

Email:
[email protected]
LinkedIn:
www.linkedin.com/in/lauraalicefoster

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Sue Daley

Sue Daley

Director, Technology and Innovation

Sue leads techUK's Technology and Innovation work.

This includes work programmes on cloud, data protection, data analytics, AI, digital ethics, Digital Identity and Internet of Things as well as emerging and transformative technologies and innovation policy. She has been recognised as one of the most influential people in UK tech by Computer Weekly's UKtech50 Longlist and in 2021 was inducted into the Computer Weekly Most Influential Women in UK Tech Hall of Fame. A key influencer in driving forward the data agenda in the UK Sue is co-chair of the UK government's National Data Strategy Forum. As well as being recognised in the UK's Big Data 100 and the Global Top 100 Data Visionaries for 2020 Sue has also been shortlisted for the Milton Keynes Women Leaders Awards and was a judge for the Loebner Prize in AI. In addition to being a regular industry speaker on issues including AI ethics, data protection and cyber security, Sue was recently a judge for the UK Tech 50 and is a regular judge of the annual UK Cloud Awards.

Prior to joining techUK in January 2015 Sue was responsible for Symantec's Government Relations in the UK and Ireland. She has spoken at events including the UK-China Internet Forum in Beijing, UN IGF and European RSA on issues ranging from data usage and privacy, cloud computing and online child safety. Before joining Symantec, Sue was senior policy advisor at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Sue has an BA degree on History and American Studies from Leeds University and a Masters Degree on International Relations and Diplomacy from the University of Birmingham. Sue is a keen sportswoman and in 2016 achieved a lifelong ambition to swim the English Channel.

Email:
[email protected]
Phone:
020 7331 2055
Twitter:
@ChannelSwimSue

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Zoe Brockbank

Programme Coordinator, Policy, Tech and Innovation, techUK

Zoe is a Programme Assistant, supporting techUK's work across Policy, Technology and Innovation.

The team makes the tech case to government and policymakers in Westminster, Whitehall, Brussels and across the UK on the most pressing issues affecting this sector and supports the Technology and Innovation team in the application and expansion of emerging technologies across business, including Geospatial Data, Quantum Computing, AR/VR/XR and Edge technologies.

Before joining techUK, Zoe worked as a Business Development and Membership Coordinator at London First and prior to that Zoe worked in Partnerships at a number of Forex and CFD brokerage firms including Think Markets, ETX Capital and Central Markets.

Zoe has a degree (BA Hons) from the University of Westminster and in her spare time, Zoe enjoys travelling, painting, keeping fit and socialising with friends.

Email:
[email protected]
Phone:
020 7331 2174
Website:
www.techuk.org,www.techuk.org,www.techuk.org,www.techuk.org

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Authors

Nimmi Patel

Nimmi Patel

Policy Manager - Skills, Talent & Diversity, techUK

Nimmi Patel is the Policy Manager for Skills, Talent and Diversity at techUK.

She works on all things skills policy, focusing on upskilling and retrain. Nimmi also leads techUK’s immigration work, collaborating with techUK members and stakeholders to create an environment that attracts the best talent to the UK.

Prior to joining the team, she worked for the UK Labour Party and New Zealand Labour Party and holds a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Manchester and is currently studying MA Strategic Communications at King’s College London.

Email:
[email protected]
Phone:
07805744520
Twitter:
@nimmiptl
LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/nimmi-patel1/

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