How we can become quantum citizens by focusing on digital skills
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
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Laura is techUK’s Head of Programme for Technology and Innovation.
She supports the application and expansion of emerging technologies, including Quantum Computing, High-Performance Computing, AR/VR/XR and Edge technologies, across the UK. As part of this, she works alongside techUK members and UK Government to champion long-term and sustainable innovation policy that will ensure the UK is a pioneer in science and technology
Before joining techUK, Laura worked internationally 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.
Rory joined techUK in June 2023 after three years in the Civil Service on its Fast Stream leadership development programme.
During this time, Rory worked on the Government's response to Covid-19 (NHS Test & Trace), school funding strategy (Department for Education) and international climate and nature policy (Cabinet Office). He also tackled the social care crisis whilst on secondment to techUK's Health and Social Care programme in 2022.
Before this, Rory worked in the House of Commons and House of Lords alongside completing degrees in Political Economy and Global Politics.
Today, he is techUK's Programme Manager for Emerging Technologies, covering dozens of technologies including metaverse, drones, future materials, robotics, blockchain, space technologies, nanotechnology, gaming tech and Web3.0.