UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond announced yesterday that the government would issue 2000 visas, a double from the regular number, to “the best and the brightest” talents, which include, but is not exclusive to tech.
According to TechCrunch, the government has launched these initiatives to try to get more offshore support to their technology industry amid the anxiety of the Brexit negotiations.
Aside from the visas, the UK government also plans to commit £61 million ($80 million) allotted to these three areas: £21 million for the expansion of Tech City (a London initiative until now) and will turn to a new nationwide tech network called tech Nation, which will open new hubs in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Birmingham among others which are 10 in total; £20 million for funding new tech innovations like Artificial Intelligence into public services; and £20 million to train and help young people aged 14 to 18 years old to identify and fight off cyber threats.
They want to reassure the tech sector that despite the country’s effort to leave the European Union, which we already have seen the drastic drop of the value of Pounds against other currencies, the softening of the housing market, and other dramatic changes in the economy, the government will still continue to work out ways to bring more talent and continue to support the tech businesses in the UK, TechCrunch said.
On the Prime Minister’s remarks during the announcement yesterday, she was very careful to address these two areas that many fear will be irreparably impacted by the political changes.
“Our digital tech sector is one of the UK’s fastest-growing industries and is supporting talent, boosting productivity, and creating hundreds of thousands of good, high-skilled jobs up and down the country. It is absolutely right that this dynamic sector, which makes such an immense contribution to our economic life and to our society, has the full backing of Government,” May said in a speech during an event today at Number 10 Downing Street (the PM’s official residence). “Helping our world-class entrepreneurs and innovators to succeed is how we lay the foundations for our prosperity and build an economy fit for the future. Technology is at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy, and we will continue to invest in the best new innovations and ideas, in the brightest and best talent, and in revolutionary digital infrastructure. And as we prepare to leave the European Union, I am clear that Britain will remain open for business. That means Government doing all it can to secure a strong future for our thriving tech sector and ensure people in all corners of our nation share in the benefits of its success.”
Tech Nation will cover some 40,000 entrepreneurs and 4,000 startups across the country in some 10 hubs to start with. “We are delighted to hear that the Government wants to increase Tech City UK’s funding for the next four years,” said Eileen Burbidge, chair of Tech City UK (and soon chair of Tech Nation). “Under the Tech Nation banner, this country that has brought so much innovation to the world and leads in sub-sectors such as fintech, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, robotics and life sciences will build a national network of digital excellence so that the UK will continue to be recognised as one of the best places in the world to start or grow a digital tech business.”
“Britain is a world leader in digital innovation with some of the brightest and best tech firms operating in this country. Working with us, they can provide technological fixes to public sector problems, boost productivity, and get the nation working smarter as we create an economy fit for the future,” the Chancellor said.
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