The UK can be “the next Silicon Valley”, if we invest in professionalism, digital skills and infrastructure.

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT welcomes the Government’s ambition for the UK to be the next Silicon Valley. Prioritised investment in digital skills and infrastructure will transform our economy, drive our global competitiveness as a science superpower and ‘level up’ across all regions and nations of the UK.

In the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said the UK should ‘combine technology and science brilliance with formidable financial services to turn Britain into the next Silicon Valley.’

Rashik Parmar MBE, Group Chief Executive of BCS said:

"We welcome the Government’s ambition to build on our global strengths in science, technology and innovation, transforming the UK into the next Silicon Valley. In delivering on this, we have an opportunity to embed ethics, professionalism and standards to ‘move fast and make things, not move fast and break things’.

“As we face immense economic challenges, it is essential the UK Government continues to drive strategic investment in digital skills to futureproof and ‘level up’ our economy, public services and industries.

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“With over 60,000 vacancies in the IT sector (ONS data) alone, any disinvestment in budgets for digital technology and skills will act as a brake on growth and ambitions. Our sector needs many more competent professionals from diverse backgrounds to drive the next wave of digitisation.

“The UK Government’s Innovation Strategy made it clear that the benefits of a digital Britain must be enjoyed equally by citizens across every UK nation and region. Regional investment will help areas of the UK to 'level up' and close the digital divide - everyone deserves to have the essential digital skills to make sure they are not left behind in the digital age.

“Investment in digital skills will benefit all sectors of the economy and improve the UK’s global competitiveness; strategic investment is essential to creating a culture of responsible computing and innovation.”