With a new tech company founded every hour in the UK, the Chancellor Philip Hammond has given the sector a budget boost as the Government looks to establish the UK as a world leader in technology.
From AI to the development of the next generation of 5G networks, the Chancellor has emphasised the importance of the developing workforce of the future, with funding highlights including a £76 million pledge to improve digital and construction skills. With 60% of CIOs experiencing a skills crunch, this news is welcome if organisations are to sustain the rates of digital transformation seen over the past decade.
As Brexit looms, the UK is entering a critical period in terms of securing its position as a worldwide hub for technological innovation. With other countries vying to establish themselves as home to the ‘European Silicone Valley’, it’s vital that we continue to see growth and investment in the sector that will make it an obvious choice for technology companies looking to establish a base. Despite Brexit, we have seen some positive signs. In addition to yesterday’s budget, Tech giants, like Google and Facebook, have expanded their presence here this year giving much needed confidence to the sector in uncertain times.
In order to compete on a global level, the UK must build an agile community that fosters innovation and growth at the start-ups level, as well as for established organisations. While the chancellor’s commitment to increase the training available for digital skills, it’s also imperative that- in the face increased political pressure on immigration- we do not lose valuable talent to the so called ‘brain drain’. Last week’s news that the Home Office will double the number of visas available for a scheme often used by people working in technology will help underpin the industry, but this trend must continue.
For those who had been calling for more investment, the budget is a step in the right direction. Regardless of whether it goes far enough, the future of technological evolution looks a little brighter today and the boost in technological development is to be welcomed.