Global tech chief warns UK tech talent is absent 

13/09/2023

A TOP technology chief has warned that the UK’s position as a global tech hub is suffering due to a lack of tech talent within the country and says that we lack sufficient digital education programmes to help support the development of skill throughout the sector. 

Coursera’s Global Skills Report 2023 ranked the UK as 64th globally in skills development and Russ Shaw, chief of global tech group Tech Global Advocates, has said that the roll out of digital skills programmes have fallen behind, while the recruitment of top talent from overseas has become too expensive.

Tech firms have supported this warning statement, as businesses express concerns around a lack of available talent in the country and the immigration barriers that present challenges to hiring from overseas, as 73 per cent of UK organisations are currently experiencing skills shortages

As Tech Nation, the non-governmental body that ran a key via programmes had its funding pulled earlier in the year leading to its closure, Ministers have committed to ramping up the availability and education of tech skills through funding initiatives such as new Centre for Finance Innovation and Technology.

Dr Yi Ding, Assistant Professor of Information Systems at the Gillmore Centre for Financial Technology, commented:

“As the UK works to retain its position as a financial hub and cement itself as a Tech Superpower, investing in technological skills is a vital step in this journey. The FinTech industry offers enormous benefits, not only as the economy regains strength, but for businesses who can use the tools it offers to enhance capabilities.

“FinTech will hold a key position in the recovery of our economy, attracting overseas investors and allowing us to lead the way in major technological advancements, however, without sufficient tech skills to support this, the sector may fall flat. Government and businesses must now come together to work alongside the world-class research institutions in the UK to equip our workforce with the skills they need to allow the industry to flourish.”

John Kirk, Group Deputy CEO for ITG, commented:

“The lack of tech talent risks halting the exciting progress being made in industries such as Marketing. MarTech is allowing businesses to scale up their processes, reach consumers quicker and tap into rapidly changing industry demands. As consumers become more demanding than ever before, the marketing industry must tap into the technology available to appease their consumers and keep up, which requires creatives with tech skills who can lead the charge.”

“While technology offers huge benefits to marketers, a lack of talent will act as a barrier to the adoption of emerging technologies. The industry needs the relevant skill to operate the tech that is now available, and once this is capitalised upon, we can hope to see enhanced marketing processes and consumers can expect to see an increased amount of personalisation, localisation and reactive marketing.”  

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