News in brief: Brexit, IT, skills gap, South East Asia, tech

News in brief
News in brief

Brexit could shrink the UK IT talent pool

Research reveals Brexit would potentially reduce the UK’s IT workforce by 25%, jeopardising the emerging tech sector and making many of the most innovative start-ups untenable as businesses.

This is according to recruitment agency Talent Point, which has used historic data to investigate the potential impact of Brexit on tech-driven businesses. The company found that almost a quarter of applicants reached them through free movement within the EU, and without the ability for EU citizens to cross borders freely some 25% of the current UK tech talent pool would be lost. This, in the short term at least, would be hugely damaging for many of our customers.

There were far fewer high-demand applicants arriving in the UK from Africa, Oceana, North and South America as obtaining a UK Visa from these countries is exceedingly challenging. The discrepancy between applications received and those the company was able to act on can in part be explained by country of origin – it simply cannot engage with most overseas applicants as they do not have the right to work in the UK no matter how useful their skill set would prove. Consider, then, the impact of EU citizens having to undergo a similar process to enter the UK and a clear picture emerges of a stalling, considerably under-skilled UK tech sector.

UK firms pitch connected cities ideas to South East Asia

Ten UK firms with an expertise in connected cities visited South East Asia to pitch their ideas to businesses, investors and government.

Some of the most exciting British businesses developing technologies to improve the way we live and work in cities have been to Malaysia and Singapore on a Mission organised by Innovate UK and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).

The businesses were able to showcase their technologies – ranging from smart street lighting to seamless ticketing, intelligent building management, mapping and security systems – and to speak to potential customers, investors and partners in South East Asia.

Innovate UK lead technologist for urban living Niraj Saraf said: “These companies’ innovations are key to addressing the challenges that large cities face. These challenges include growing populations, increased demand for energy and the integration of technology into citizens’ everyday lives.

“We believe these companies have huge growth potential and could become a vital part of the global connected cities industry in the near future.”