Tech City has published “Tech Nation”, its annual report on where the UK is in terms of technology, and the findings will please many people. In spite of reports of skills gaps and even government concerns over provision for cyber security and skills, the document suggests that the UK is pretty much the tech capital of Europe.
This will be helped in part, no doubt, by the fact that we’re the only English-speaking country other than Ireland in the mix, so in an American-led industry, coding and writing in the same language is bound to offer some advantage.
Many of the key findings are presented in the form of an extended infographic here. One thing to note is that in the UK, investment in technology companies reached £6.8bn last year, which is 50 per cent more than other European countries.
In terms of skills, the infographic adds that we have more of Europe’s top 20 universities than any other country. This obviously takes no account of the subjects studied but as a stat it’s real enough.
Fuelling the investment levels will be the amount of turnover in the tech sector; this has now reached £100bn, a ten per cent increase in the last five years. Turnover is not the same as profit, and inevitably some of the tech companies responsible for this turnover will fall, but a lot won’t.
The report also explores regional investment in some depth. The overall picture is that 2016 was a good year for technology in the UK; the hope has to be that Brexit won’t affect it adversely and pulling away from the EU will allow for continued co-operation and collaboration in future.
And in spite of the claims on behalf of the universities, which are factually correct, the IT industry still needs to make itself attractive as a career option. As our interviewee from CompTIA pointed out a year ago, it’s just not seen as cool any more.