Tech must be at the centre of PM’s vision for a high wage economy
LONDON 21 October 2021: To achieve the Prime Minister’s vision of a high wage, high growth, high productivity and innovative post-Brexit economy the Chancellor will need to put tech-led growth at the heart of the Budget and Spending review, says leading technology trade association techUK.
Tech jobs account for 10% of total jobs in the UK, with the Government’s own projections estimating that the UK could add another 678,000 tech jobs by 2025. The digitisation of professions such as HR, marketing, and legal, which account for 37% of employees in the digital economy, has significantly increased their productivity, as seen by an average yearly income of £62,500, which is significantly higher than the UK average.
Ahead of the Autumn Budget next week, techUK stresses that a failure to adequately support tech-led growth for UK businesses could see the potential for growth of this type of high wage, high skilled jobs put at risk.
To ensure the UK can support businesses to adopt tech models of growth, techUK’s submission to the Treasury for the Budget and Spending Review prioritises regulation, skills, infrastructure and support for innovation as enablers of tech-led growth.
techUK is calling for:
- Regulation: The expansion of sandboxing schemes and the creation of new regulatory taskforces to unlock investment in key technologies such as autonomous systems.
- Skills: Expanding the Help to Grow: Digital scheme as well as the creation of a SME Digital Skills Tax Credit to support businesses to adopt the digital services they need as well as to retrain staff.
- Infrastructure: Deliver on the Government’s commitments to roll-out 5G and gigabit capable broadband by investing a further £250 million in the Telecoms Diversification Programme and bring forward the remaining promised £3.8 billion of funding allocated for Project Gigabit.
- Innovation: Help businesses to invest in data for research and innovation by extending the scope of the R&D tax credit to cover key assets for R&D such as the purchasing of data sets and the use of data analytics and cloud computing. The Government should also act on long standing and cross industry calls to bring capital expenditure costs, such as those on plant and machinery for facilities engaging in R&D, within scope.
Julian David, CEO techUK said:
“The Prime Minister has outlined a vision of a new post-Brexit economic model for the UK, driven by high wages and high productivity. However, we will not be able to achieve that unless businesses, especially SMEs, can leverage the UK’s tech sector to adopt productivity boosting technologies and give staff the skills to use them”
“If we get this right the prize is enormous: employees empowered by digital technologies contribute twice as much to UK growth. With salaries higher than the average and the ability to work anywhere across the UK’s nations and regions thanks to video conferencing and cloud technologies, digitising our businesses has huge potential to support the economic recovery from COVID-19 and levelling-up.”
Margherita is Communications Manager at techuk, working across all communications and marketing activities and acting as point of contact for media enquiries.
Julian David is the CEO of techUK, the leading technology trade association that aims to realise the positive outcomes of what digital technology can achieve through innovation and collaboration, and serves on its board of directors.
Julian led the transformation of techUK from its predecessor Intellect in 2015, putting an increased focus on the growth and jobs the technology industry offers in a global economy. He has since led its impressive expansion driving forward the tech agenda in key areas such as skills, digital ID and public sector transformation, now leading techUK’s 70-strong team and representing over 850 member companies, comprising of global and national champions and more than 500 SMEs. In 2020, techUK joined forces with TechSkills, the employer-led organisation that aims to improve the talent flow of talent into the digital workforce.
Julian represents techUK on a number of external bodies including the Digital Economy Council, the Cyber Growth Partnership and the Department of International Trade’s Strategic Trade Advisory Group. He also sits on the Executive Board of DIGITALEUROPE and is a member of the Board of the Health Innovation Network the South London Academic Health Science Network.
Julian has over thirty years of experience in the technology industry. Prior to joining techUK, he had a long career at IBM culminating as Vice President for Small and Medium Business and then Public Sector. After leaving IBM he worked as a consultant helping tech SMEs establish successful operations in the U.K. His personal interests include Football (West Ham and Real Madrid) and Art.