Government £11BN science investment shows importance of technology to UK economy

Office for National Statistics figures released reveal that in 2014, the UK government spent £11.0 billion on science, engineering and technology (SET), an increase of 0.4 per cent in current prices compared with 2013. This emphasises the importance of technology to boost growth in the UK economy.

The need to provide high-end technology is not matched with the skills currently available, with a report from the Commons Science and Technology Committee finding that the UK is facing a digital skills crisis, with 745,000 more workers with digital skills required by 2017.

Farida Gibbs, CEO and Founder of Gibbs S3, comments: “One of the most vital things investment can be used for is securing talent with the right skillsets, who are able to provide the services that are required to cater to the digital native millennial generation. There is a gap between the digital skills which are possessed by employees and those which are needed.”

Businesses leaders need to draw their attention to talent and the central role it plays in their digital strategies. With growing business investment in this space, it is important to have a well-trained workforce, so businesses can harness the skills to push boundaries and keep pace with industry competitors. Nurturing the talent pipeline is necessary to strengthen a business’ position against competition, where technology allows them to stay ahead of the curve.

“Skills development is just as important as creativity and innovation which can be attained by scaling the workforce up and down on a ‘skills as a service’ model. A hybrid approach to their workforce solutions combining traditional requirement with project consultancy, gives businesses the desired flexibility to ensure the future competitiveness of the UK digital economy. Mitigating risk and increasing flexibility, the hybrid approach helps businesses access the best talent on the market.”