UK government announces tech sector investment programmes

Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor Phillip Hammond have said they will invest an additional £21m into Tech City UK in a bid to expand it into a nationwide network and boost the technology sector across the country.

Posted by Jian Ping Sun on Wednesday, 15th November 2017

As part of its plans, the government will also double the amount of visas available for high-skilled workers from outside the European Union following Brexit.

Additionally, the Prime Minister and Chancellor have also announced a new £20 m fund to enable public services to take advantage of UK expertise in technologies such as AI.

The government also announced the launch of a £20 m training program, which will challenge young people aged between 14 and 18 to test their skills against simulated online cyber threats.

“Our digital tech sector is one of the UK’s fastest-growing industries and is supporting talent, boosting productivity, and creating hundreds of thousands of good, high-skilled jobs up and down the country,” claimed May during a speech announcing a programme of initiatives designed to boost said sector. ’It is absolutely right that this dynamic sector, which makes such an immense contribution to our economic life and to our society, has the full backing of Government. Helping our world-class entrepreneurs and innovators to succeed is how we lay the foundations for our prosperity and build an economy fit for the future.’

“Technology is at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy, and we will continue to invest in the best new innovations and ideas, in the brightest and best talent, and in revolutionary digital infrastructure. And as we prepare to leave the European Union, I am clear that Britain will remain open for business. That means Government doing all it can to secure a strong future for our thriving tech sector and ensure people in all corners of our nation share in the benefits of its success.”

The offerings on the table include: a doubling from 1,000 to 2,000 in the number of visas available to high-talent individuals across the globe, with the promise of an investigation into how companies outside London can take advantage of this talent pool; £21 million to expand Tech City, the area of East London home to many of the UK’s top technology companies, into Tech Nation with Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Birmingham to benefit from a claimed 40,000 entrepreneur across 4,000 start-ups; £20 million for public services looking to take advantage of ’innovative technologies’, including artificial intelligence; a £20 million training programme for 14-18 year olds to ’test their skills against simulated online cyber threats;’ and a £2 million voucher scheme to boost broadband connectivity in Aberdeenshire, Bristol, Bath, North East Somerset, Coventry, Warwickshire, and West Yorkshire.

“Britain is a world leader in digital innovation with some of the brightest and best tech firms operating in this country,” claimed Chancellor Phillip Hammond in support of the announcement. “Working with us, they can provide technological fixes to public sector problems, boost productivity, and get the nation working smarter as we create an economy fit for the future.”

Editor: James Norris

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