Digital skills — key to driving UK prosperity, according to Salesforce

What role should businesses play in driving UK prosperity?

According to three-quarters (72%) of UK consumers, they agree that business leaders need to step up and help create a successful global Britain. In the same study from Salesforce, business leaders acknowledged the role they play in driving economic growth on a regional basis, with one-quarter (24%) saying the main responsibility for doing so lies with the private sector.

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UK tech talent

The data from the Salesforce report highlights concerns of a potential shortage of tech skills post-Brexit, with over half of business leaders believing the UK is at risk of a tech brain drain.

To address this, businesses are now recognising the pivotal role they must play in nurturing tech talent and digital skills in the country.

• One in four business leaders feel responsibility for doing so lies mainly with private enterprise.
• Over half (55%) plan to invest more in developing their own tech talent, with the same number pledging to address the skills gap by re-skilling older generations.
• And, 51% intending to do more to re-skill people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“There are issues that business needs to lead on regardless of what’s happening in the world of politics,” said Paul Smith, EVP and GM, Salesforce UK. “The economy is changing as new technologies emerge. This research supports what we already know — as businesses leaders we need to do more to show people how re-skilling and gaining new tech qualifications, often with free courses and accessible tools, is easier than many think.”

Investing in digital skills and technology is crucial for individual businesses — scrambling to compete in an increasingly congested market.

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Digital skills — key to driving UK prosperity post-Brexit

Almost two-thirds (64%) of business leaders believe investing in digital skills will become more important for businesses when the UK leaves the European Union (EU), while 65% said it will increase the importance of new technology investments. Most consumers (61%) believe business should be investing more in technology to increase UK productivity.

“Two of the world’s greatest problem solvers are people and technology. Both are fundamental to creating a successful global Britain,” said Antony Walker, deputy CEO, TechUK. “Regardless of the impact of Brexit on the economy, technology leaders must continue their efforts to close the skills gap and work with governments and industry to tackle productivity.”

Be more optimistic!

Despite the uncertainty, over half of consumers (51%) are looking for businesses to be more optimistic about the UK’s prospects.

Encouragingly, the report found that two-thirds (67%) of business leaders recognise that larger businesses have a responsibility to provide more support to UK startups and entrepreneurs — and over two-thirds believe UK startups need more support to remain globally competitive.

How does the government fund and support UK tech startups?

The government has several funding routes for young companies, as well as a strong support system aimed at fostering UK tech startups

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is the editor for Information Age. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and cyber security.