Following Brexit and Covid pandemic, firms pushed digital transformation and changed business models, resulting in skyrocketing demand for specialist tech skills in the United Kingdom. According to a recent study, Income in the IT business increased significantly this year, outpacing prior years (in general, the average tech salary is 50% higher than the average for all jobs in the UK.) With the labour supply not keeping up with labour demand, job vacancies hit a record high of 1.1 million, with a single month forecast of 1.2 million.
The Pandemic coupled with the political uncertainty- BREXIT proved to be a wake-up call for UK based employers and forced them to prioritise innovation and technology. Simultaneously, UK’s growing technology talent shortage creates barriers to filling roles with candidates who have the right mix of experience and skills. Over two-thirds of businesses (64 per cent) lack the skills needed to implement their digital transformation plan and capitalise on growth opportunities. UK employers have shown a great deal of interest in economic migration. In line with UK businesses’ interest, the Home Office or the UK government also launched a priority service to encourage economic migration and removed barriers such as high salary bracket, labour market test and longer processing time to bring the existing skill gaps.
So, what is economic migration? And how it is essential in the UK’s digital technology sector?
Economic migration happens when people move from one country to another in search of a better quality of life when conditions or work prospects in the migrant’s home region are unsatisfactory. Since time immemorial, these economic migrants have benefited from overseas opportunities and aided several economies to grow and thrive. In fact, immigrants are one of the top reasons why the UK digital tech sector is booming even after the Pandemic.
Economic migrants are the reason why the UK’s workplace is culturally unique, responsive to complementary skills and a launchpad for innovative processes and ideas. In other cases, they have upskilled colleagues, resulting in strategy and creative improvements and new projects for their companies. These adjustments have resulted in increased productivity as well as growth in the digital technology sector.
Moreover, the UK government is unequivocal in believing that carefully managed economic migration can have better impacts. What matters is that the correct mix of skills is chosen and attracted to help keep economic growth, employment, and productivity high and rising. Alongside these very evident macroeconomic benefits, migration positively influences every community in the UK in more broad terms.
This brings our attention to the next question.
Do UK employers value immigrants? And why?
Employers value the breadth of language skills migrants bring and the value of a diverse workforce with a global outlook, which can identify opportunities and new openings.
If we examine the current situation, the access to a global platform, record levels of VC investments and agile technologies make a solid case for international start-ups and scaleups to grow in the UK tech sector. And without a doubt, talent will remain the primary factor in their rapid progress. These companies require talent to sustain their significant expansion. Given the non-competent local force, people from outside the UK are most certainly to contribute their skills and knowledge for tremendous positive impacts.
UK employers can engage in high-tech and engineering-intensive processes that rely heavily on knowledge, innovation, and advanced systems and processes with highly skilled immigrants. Similarly, these high-tech migrants are highly respected, and certain companies grant them unique benefits due to their specific knowledge and contributions.
And, this is true for businesses also.
15% of UK digital companies and scaleups currently have at least one founder whose nationality is not British, including European founders. Furthermore, 50 per cent of the founders of these businesses are serial entrepreneurs, having found at least one other company in the UK or elsewhere in the world (Tech Nation).
How you can take advantage and grow your career in the UK’s digital tech sector
Technology experts can take advantage of the current UK digital Tech Scene by joining the most thriving sectors such as CleanTech. Rising green growth and demand necessitate novel ideas and innovation, which require a diversified workforce. According to the UK chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak, the UK government pledges “a real commitment to green growth,” and with a newly announced Net Zero Innovation Portfolio of £1 billion and a further £375 million for a new Future Fund, the UK is committed to going carbon neutral by 2050. Our experts suggest that this is the right time to take part in UK’s tech revolution and leave a mark on history. As Sri Kanthadai, Data Head at Deloitte, says, “the opportunities are out there; it is for you to grasp them and grow.”
Similarly, after Brexit and during the Pandemic, the Uk has opened the gate for global talents and implemented a favourable visa policy ( maybe for a short term). This calls for a more significant opportunity for tech experts to settle in the UK.
Vikas Tripathi, Managing Director at Heliocor Ltd., says, “the UK is a great place to pursue your ambitions in the technology sector, whatever stage in your career and is a great place to do business for employers and those entrepreneurs setting-up in business for the first time.”
With £13.5 billion raised in the first six months of 2021, a massive hike in the tech job opening and an increase in wages, there is no doubt that the UK’s technology industry is thriving, with no plans to slow down anytime soon. Joining the sector at this moment will significantly benefit tech experts in terms of new learning and career growth.
Seeve Nair, Chief Commercial Officer at All Terrain All-Electric, firmly believes that “the UK is positioned very well in the technology sector. It is probably in the top 3 globally with an abundance of opportunities. The UK has one of the world’s largest technology ecosystems with thousands of tech start-ups, built around a strong entrepreneurial culture with easy access to funding.”
As Charles Darwin once said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change”. Immigrant or not, if you know how to adapt to changes and play it to your advantage, you’ll survive everything the world throws at you.
These developments on the individual and entrepreneurship levels are likely to aid global talent in reaching the pinnacle of success. It is evidenced by Tech Nation’s future prediction that the emerging economies will soon challenge western dominance in creating highly skilled talent. We’d say the global talent landscape is quickly changing; it’s high time to take advantage of this opportunity.