UK can increase tech GDP by £50bn a year with Government support

A business group addressed a shortage in skills and investment in a sector that contributes £150bn a year to the UK economy

A tech trade association claims the UK could add £50bn to the economy annually with a government tech strategy.

In a report which centred on the concerns of 1,000 members, techUK warned that without a strategy in place, the UK could lose its global tech position.

The sector at present adds £150bn a year to the economy, after increasing by 25 per cent between 2010 and 2019.

The group claims the UK could add an extra £50bn every year by the middle of the decade with the deployment of a series of steps including “ensuring it holds on to its fintech crown” by speeding up the delivery of a central bank digital currency, growing tech clusters across the country by giving local authorities more incentives to invest in digital projects and boosting competitiveness as a green tech hub through reforms to current ESG requirements.

The group also wants to see support for a growing AI ethics ecosystem by promoting education in the classroom through to the boardroom.

The report addressed a shortage in skills, investment and available lab space, and criticised the current approach to EU regulation, which it says has created a “confusing and awkward” environment.  

The UK is the biggest destination for overseas tech investment in Europe, though a skills shortage and Brexit has been cited as the reason for foreign investment into UK tech companies falling by 23 per cent in 2022.

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In March, Tech Nation said the UK tech sector could be worth £4 trillion by 2032 with government support, up from its current predicted value of £2.6 trillion.

Julian David, the CEO of techUK, said: “Whoever forms the next government will face a number of challenges, from how to increase economic growth, to supporting our public services, to how we address climate change. The UK tech sector should be a key partner in addressing these challenges with the better use of digital technology viewed as the main opportunity for growth across all business sectors and how to transform public services from the NHS to policing.

“We can seize this opportunity if we see our tech sector as the engine of growth and change across our society and economy. However, to achieve this we need politicians to act, set out a long-term plan for the sector, provide a better approach to regulation and deliver on strategies for key technologies.”

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Dom Walbanke

Fred Mann

Dom is a feature writer for Growth Business and Small Business, focused on matters concerning start-ups and scale-ups. He has also been published in the Independent, FourFourTwo magazine and various lifestyle...

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