The UK tech sector faces a
triple hit on digital skills. Alongside the existing digital skills gap in
the UK, significant uncertainty on the access to EU talent, and new
restrictions to hiring non-EEA workers introduced in April 2017 risk
hindering growth. The dynamism of the sector means tech creates new jobs
at nearly three times the rate of the rest of the economy, and demand far
To capitalise on the next wave
of digital growth, we must become digital nation of significance,
including all geographies and demographics across the UK.
Developing the digital skills
of citizens across the UK is not just vital to the tech sector – but
across all sectors as the economy becomes increasingly digitised. This is
also key for the future of work.
Gender parity through the
pipeline starting at schools through to retention and progression is a key
issue, as is lifelong learning. We must ensure that no one is left behind.
To ensure the digital
revolution benefits UK workers, we need to rethink education so the future
workforce is equipped with the right skills and people have meaningful
lifelong learning opportunities, providing them with the tools to work in
the 21st century. To start, we need to reform the apprenticeship levy.
and Government must all work together in bridging the digital skills gap,
an important element of this will be engaging and diversifying our talent
bank, creating practical routes to employment for skilled workers from all
walks of life.
Throughout the speech,
Jacqueline will make reference to particular opportunities that stand out
for Wales too.