UK Digital Strategy: Tech Sector Reacts To Government’s Plans To Target AI And Stem Digital Skills Gap

IT training, digital skills

TECH VIEW: The government has released its new digital strategy, but what does the tech sector think?

Matt Walmsley, EMEA Director, Vectra Networks

“Faced with a nation-wide and growing cyber skills shortage, we welcome the government’s commitment to research and investment in AI and cyber skills training. The skills shortage plaguing the cybersecurity workforce is easily the greatest threat to the country’s internet security.

“What’s more, as the number and complexity of threats grows, humans will simply be unable to handle the sheer weight of the workload by themselves. By combining a strategy of AI research and cyber education, the government is taking a strong approach to tackling the skills gap.

“By embracing AI and machine learning technologies that automate laborious and time-consuming processes, staff will be free to focus on the highest priority tasks. Only by augmenting human capabilities with intelligent technologies will the UK be able to carve its path as a cybersecurity leader.”

artifical intelligence, AI

George Brasher, MD UK&I, HP

“HP is proud to support the Government’s Digital strategy and to be part of the Digital Skills Partnership. The STEM worker shortfall is estimated to be at 40,000 each year in the UK and with more jobs being created to meet the shifting demands of the digital economy, this gap is widening.

“The UK’s digital sector is critical for growth, innovation and productivity. The Government’s digital strategy, designed to offer digital skills to a wider audience, will help businesses and charities make greater strides towards narrowing the skills gap and gaining a competitive advantage.

“We believe we have a responsibility to partner with government, teachers, parents, pupils and other industry leaders to enhance digital learning and close the knowledge gap. Today’s announcement will help build on the UK’s digital foundations and make our country one of the most dynamic and supportive places to develop and grow a digital business.”

Paul Shannon, CEO, ANS Group

“We fully support the government’s commitment to developing digital skills. There is a high demand for these skills among many businesses, which will only become more central in the future.

“Investing in education and encouraging more businesses to work closely with young people is definitely a step in the right direction, and will provide the younger generations with the knowledge they need to thrive in an increasingly digitally-focused job market.”

Daniel Hegarty, CEO and Founder, Habito

“AI and Robotics are already having material impact on the way we make and consume. With the UK’s rich seam of engineering talent and emerging tech infrastructure, we are well placed to emerge as a global leader in this space. While the Government’s Digital Strategy is a vital first step forward in recognising the appetite for change, with a £17.3m boost, innovation is already happening at a rapid pace.

“Automation, robots, and machine learning are creating minor revolutions across almost every industry. Whilst we’re now only just scratching the surface of the quality of experience AI can provide, we can expect to see the pace of change being to accelerate in 2017. We are entering a new, technology-enabled world, one that will create a more reliable, efficient world for Britons – if we let it.”

Pierre Hall, Solutions Director at Computacenter

“The UK’s Digital Strategy, announced today, rightly recognises that a thriving digital economy is critical to our economic growth. Digital technologies also underpin the transformation we’re seeing amongst our customers across many sectors of the economy, driving productivity and efficiency through smart use of tech. We particularly welcome measures in the strategy that look to tackle the worrying digital skills-gap, including the new Digital Skills Partnership.

“We look forward to working closely with Government to ensure the UK has the rights market conditions for British companies to thrive, create jobs and drive growth.”

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