Why the TechCityUK announcement today matters

If you believe, as I do, that tech is the future, then you’ll no doubt have been as excited as me by the announcement today that Tech City UK, one of the most important bodies on the UK technology scene, is going to be turned into a nationwide organisation.

Just look at the way London’s Shoreditch region was transformed by the creation of Tech City UK, and the huge impact the organisation has had in helping to foster the entrepreneurial spirit of so many Londoners and their teams from around the world.

Yet, while our city’s tech economy has grown at an unbelievable rate, our success deserves to be a national success.

The £21 million funding for Tech City UK to help it develop as “Tech Nation” will be a valuable part of this process; sharing what our capital city has learned with the rest of the country.

The other point I was delighted to see in this announcement was the increase in the number of visas available to talented individuals from around the world to come and work here. As we leave the EU, it is important that we seek to both improve the skills of British workers and to continue to attract the most talented people from across the world – and not confine ourselves to people from European Union countries.

To make this work, we must make the application process as easy as possible. Of course, there will be some regulation and there must be to avoid abuse, but technology itself can be used to reduce the level of complexity of this process by automating background checks, etc. The process of applying to move here should just be another part of your planning, no different in complexity than finding somewhere to live and sorting out contracts and providing references.

Yes, it will mean a bit more “paperwork” for EU nationals wanting to come to the UK, but it will also mean a fairer immigration system and make it far easier for the best and brightest to come, not just from Europe , but from across the globe.

I’m delighted to see a recognition in this announcement that the UK will continue to welcome global talent.

Tech used to be the preserve of people like the younger me, sat in their rooms coding away, but now tech is everywhere and will continue to be so.  We need and we MUST be at the forefront of global development in new technology and I welcome today’s announcement.


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