The Government is aiming to keep the tech community on its side as it attempts to ease fears of a post-Brexit meltdown by announcing a series of measures, including a £60m investment in a number of projects and a rethink of immigration, to ensure the country remains among the top dogs in the global digital industry.
In the run up to the Budget, Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond will co-host a tech roundtable and reception at Downing Street, and reaffirm the Government’s enduring commitment to the sector.
These include doubling to 2,000 the number of visas available to the brightest and best talent from around the world, including in digital technology and an investment of £21m to expand Tech City UK into a nationwide network – Tech Nation – to accelerate the growth of the digital tech sector across the country.
It has also pledged a new £20m fund to help public services take advantage of UK expertise in technologies like artificial intelligence and the launch of a £20m training programme which will challenge thousands of young people aged between 14 and 18 to test their skills against simulated online cyber threats.
May said: “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. 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.
“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.”
Tech City UK chair Eileen Burbidge said: “Under the Tech Nation banner, this country that has brought so much innovation to the world and leads in sub-sectors such as fintech, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, robotics and life sciences, will build a national network of digital excellence so that the UK will continue to be recognised as one of the best places in the world to start or grow a digital tech business.”
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