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Budget 2013: What the UK IT Industry wants from Osborne

Derek du Preez | March 21, 2013
Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, will deliver his annual Budget to the House of Commons tomorrow, with the technology industry looking for meaningful support to match the government's talk of the sector as a source of long-term economic growth for a struggling economy.

"Further investment and a ring-fenced approach to apprenticeship funding will help cement London's place as one of the most important tech hubs in the world, where highly educated and determined risk-takers are proving that they can innovate as aggressively and create as ingeniously as their contemporaries in Silicon Valley."

Since 2010, the coalition government has focused much of its energies on developing a vibrant technology hub in London's east end - dubbed Tech City. Investment in this area has attracted tech giants, such as Google and Microsoft, as well as encouraged a flurry of hopeful tech-focused start-ups that could provide job support and growth for the UK's economy in years to come.

Mark Ridley, IT director at recruitement giant Reed Online, told Computerworld UK that Osborne needs to reaffirm this in the Budget tomorrow.

"Britain may have been described as a nation of shopkeepers, but it's time that we became a nation of tech startups. The UK's digital economy is thriving, with small businesses and startups in technology hubs like those in London's 'Tech City', Newcastle and Edinburgh leading Europe as destinations for highly motivated young talent that will drive our future success on the world stage," said Ridley.

"There is an obvious need for continued investment in Technology, Science and Engineering education, but we also need to focus on apprenticeships and internships to develop the skills and mindsets of school leavers."

He added: "Supporting this with streamlined grants for regional technology hubs and incubator schemes, driving lending to small businesses and re-evaluating cuts in budget for rural broadband access will allow small businesses across the UK to compete on a global scale."


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