Big Investment in the Digital Sector

Charlotte Bunker
By Charlotte BunkerCreative Copywriter
5 minutes to read

Back in March, the government unveiled its plans to transform the UK into the world’s leading digital economy.

The Digital Strategy seeks to turn Britain into the best place in the world to start and run a digital business through a series of education programmes and business initiatives. The recent Autumn Budget took the first steps to putting the strategy into practice.

Skills and education

The government has enlisted the help of Barclays, Lloyds and Google to teach digital skills to more than two million individuals, charities and medium sized businesses by 2020. Lloyds will provide face-to-face training, Barclays will teach simple coding to 45,000 children and will also assist up to one million people to develop general digital skills and cyber awareness. Google has also promised to provide five hours of free digital skills to everyone in seaside towns.

To help combat future skills gaps, the recent Budget made provisions to train an additional 8,000 specialist computer science teachers. BT has also announced the expansion of its Barefoot Computing Project to help an extra 500,000 school children develop early computational thinking skills by the end of the current academic year.

It’s not just children who will benefit from digital education. The government also announced its intention to help facilitate career changes and so have developed further education programmes. The HP Foundation will bring HP LIFE, a free online learning platform, to the UK. This programme will help disadvantaged groups in the UK to improve their business, IT and digital skills.

Accenture and FutureLearn will develop a national digital skills programme to boost learning through online collaboration. It’s hoped the programme will reach as many as 100,000 people across the UK.

Business

Five international tech hubs will be developed in emerging markets around the world to help establish partnerships between UK firms and local tech companies. This is an expansion on the government’s current scheme with Israel which has delivered more than 80 partnerships and deals worth £62 million. It’s hoped that the Tech Hubs will provide businesses with the opportunity to collaborate and innovate.

The Business Connectivity Forum will bring together businesses, local authorities and communications providers to help businesses access affordable, reliable and fast broadband. The first steps towards this are already being taken as the Chancellor has announced a portion of £500 million to support 5G networks and fully fibre broadband.

Research

During the latest budget, the Chancellor committed money to support Britain’s AI (artificial intelligence) sector, as well as £540 million to develop electric and driverless cars.

To ensure the UK continues to be on the cutting edge of digital and technology, the government also pledged an investment of £2.3bn in research and development.

What this means for digital businesses

Our Operations Director, Andy Hey commented: “It’s great to see the government heavily investing in the digital and technology sector. Improved connectivity will help marketers deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right device and an increase in bandwidth will allow these interactions to be much richer. The money for the education sector is welcomed as there is still a skills shortage in the digital marketplace and this will help encourage the population to enter the sector.”

It shouldn’t be long before we start to see the government’s ambitions realised. The next few years will be an exciting time for digital businesses to grow.

To find out more about the government’s Digital Strategy, visit the .gov website.

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Articles by Charlotte Bunker

Hi I'm Charlotte and I'm the resident Creative Copywriter.