London Tech Week: Tech hiring expert stresses crucial need to focus on skills development

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As London Tech Week kicks off, specialist recruitment firm, Robert Half, has highlighted the need for skills development to be prioritised if the UK’s position as the third leading tech economy is to be maintained or improved.

In the expert’s own analysis of trends and data across the tech landscape, it highlighted the powerful position the UK is already in, with the country home to more high-growth tech companies than any other European destination.

With the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport also publishing information that suggests the UK retained its top spot as a tech leader in Europe and came third globally, it’s clear that the country has cemented its position as a leading tech nation.

However, as Craig Freedberg, Regional Director at Robert Half highlighted, skills development and talent attraction are becoming increasingly tough:

“The UK – and in particular, London – is a stronghold for technological innovation and is home to a vast number of specialist businesses that have gone from strength-to-strength in recent times. I think it’s all too easy to underestimate just how prolific the UK tech scene is at the moment, particularly in a post-Brexit landscape where the country’s overall strength as a destination of choice for many tech professionals has, according to some commentators, been impacted.

“Our analysis shows that the UK is still thriving, but we also know that skills shortages are increasingly putting this at risk. We may have seen plans outlined in the Chancellor’s Budget earlier this year to boost skills development in the technology sector, but if we are to maintain the position we have worked so hard to secure, everyone needs to play their part.

“As London Tech Week approaches, I implore everyone in the sector to consider what tactics they can implement to help boost the UK’s tech skills, whether that’s supporting training and development for those looking for a sideways step into tech, making a commitment to boosting diverse hiring in their tech teams or, as individuals, taking time out to help mentor others in the remit. Perhaps one perfect example of initiatives that firms can get involved in is the Amazon Web Services (AWS) re/Start programme, which aims to upskill underrepresented or underemployed groups with the necessary skills for them to succeed in entry-level tech roles.

An inclusive part of the AWS re/Start’s mission has been to address the gender imbalance we currently see within the technology space; the initiative has supported female-only cohorts and continues to empower these communities to help women progress faster. Across 2022 Robert Half built an inclusive and diverse pipeline of AWS re/Start talent by connecting over eighty businesses and candidates, forty-six per cent of whom were women.”

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