Brexit threatens UK IT prosperity

UK organisations are suffering from a digital skills gap at every level and Brexit will further reduce Britain’s access to tech talent according to a new survey by graduate IT training and services provider Sparta Global.

The survey was completed by 88 leading technology professionals across a number of industries, including technology, finance and media. Of the 88 respondents, all admit their organisations are suffering skills gaps across the board: graduate level (38%), mid-level (55%) and management level (39%).

Software development was identified by 52% of respondents as a missing skill, making it the most sought after area of expertise. 40% recognised a gap in test automation skills, DevOps (38%), BA/PMO (19%) and manual testing (16%).

David Rai, CEO of Sparta Global comments: “This survey demonstrates that while Britain has seen exponential growth in digital innovation, a shortage in digital skills still threatens to derail the UK’s position as a dominant force in IT. A recent survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) indicates the digital skills gap is costing the UK economy £63 billion annually in lost GDP. In a post-Brexit future, the skills gap will widen even further if access to talent outside the UK becomes harder to obtain.”

Almost half of the survey respondents claim Brexit has already reduced access to talent from outside the UK. One in four contractors with a non-UK passport admitted that the post-Brexit threat of a more restrictive immigration policy had influenced their decision to leave the UK. An inability to import qualified workers from outside of the UK to bridge the country’s skills gap poses a danger to the UK’s future as a competitive place to set up a technology business or base a European hub.

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