Digital Secretary wants UK to be world leader in tech

The UK’s Digital Secretary has spoken of her desire to place Britain at the top of the worldwide tech sector during a speech at Bloomberg. 

Michelle Donelan MP pinpointed four ‘fundamental things’ for the future of UK tech during her speech at the event, which also saw Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt highlight the importance of digital technology. 

Ms Donelan spoke of the UK being a country where: ‘entrepreneurs have both the stability, but also the freedom, to invest and innovate. And that’s why in the decade or so since the start-up scene first began springing into life, the UK has seen a sustained explosion of investment and growth. 

‘It happened because we brought together a potent mix of four key fundamental things: The right people, the right money, the right ideas, and the right regulation.’ 

During her speech, Ms Donelan also mentioned the urgency of addressing a skills gap in the country as she pointed out that the creation of digital roles was now happening four times faster than the increase of the workforce. 

An average of 173,000 digital occupation vacancies per month is also costing the UK up to £150bn a year in lost GDP, according to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. 

Referencing the increasingly popular ChatGPT AI programme, Mr Hunt also highlighted the tech sector during his speech, he said: ‘From the way we communicate and collaborate, to the way we buy and sell goods and services, digital technology has transformed nearly every aspect of our economic lives.’ 

Despite the government’s desire to further the UK tech industry as a world leader, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announcing a plan to attract the world’s top 100 AI talent and a group of advisors being appointed to aid with a plan to create the next Silicon Valley, a report released last year found that investment in UK tech was down overall. 

Ms Donelan also addressed the need to encourage venture capital investment and prioritise science and tech budgets, she said: ‘We need to continue to foster investment in research and development, to help our world-class universities even more world-class graduates, and skills that will drive the tech sector forward even faster. 
‘And we need to keep providing the right regulation – to create the kind of competitive and innovative environment where people can start the next Deliveroo or DeepMind, and can scale it up, and go on to become global success stories.’

Photo by NASA


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