The UK is on the edge of a digital skills recruitment crisis, claim several top-level tech CEOs.
This crisis is caused by a dearth in digitally-skilled domestic workers and reducing numbers of high-skilled tech workers choosing to relocate, to the UK, from the EU.
As British businesses put tech experts at the top of their recruitment wish lists, an Arrows Group study has noted a 10% reduction in skilled tech workers moving to the UK, over the last year.
Whilst a separate report found that 12.6million working-age adults lack basic digital skills – with 5.8million having never used the internet at all.
John Hedlund, CEO of Zeqr, explains that the discrepancy, between companies’ recruitment plans the availability of applicants with the desired digital skills, is costing the economy an estimated £63 billion in lost income.
However, James Parsons, CEO of Arrows Group, believes the most immediate threat to the tech industry is Brexit – which is making the UK a less popular career destination.
He said: “Theresa May’s [imminent] triggering of Article 50 marks the beginning of a significant change for the UK. While many of its implications are still unclear, from a digital skills perspective we’re already seeing how Brexit is making top digital talent reluctant to come to the UK and flock elsewhere instead.
“As many of our clients want to expand their tech teams quickly, they need to invest in a location that can give them a healthy supply of talent to meet their objectives, which they may not be able to cannot guarantee here in the UK.
“If this trend continues it could lead to a brain drain of top UK talent as generally they will want to work where the exciting projects are. We’re already seeing an increase in best-in-class developers taking roles in Switzerland which continues to be a fast-growing hub for tech innovation.”
Furthermore, cyber-security recruiters, Computer Network Defence (CND) has highlighted the massive shortage of cyber-defence candidates available for hire.
Andy Cuff, Founder of CND, said: “As one of the oldest and most established cyber security recruitment companies in the UK, we’ve witnessed first-hand the skills shortage in the sector.”