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UK government launches tech talent campaign

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology is encouraging people to sign up to digital skills bootcamps as government-funded research reveals huge demand for entry-level and junior tech talent

The UK government has launched a campaign to encourage more people to sign up to free technology skills bootcamps, aiming to plug gaps in British tech talent.

The government-backed bootcamps cover five key skills that are in particularly high demand by the tech industry, including cloud computing, software development, data analytics, cyber security and web development.

Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT)-funded research, published by Barclays Eagle Labs and Beauhurst, found there is huge demand for entry-level and junior tech talent in the UK technology industry, particularly those with skills offered through the bootcamps.

Tackling the skills gap is one of DSIT’s main priorities for 2024, alongside boosting scaleup growth.

Commenting on the campaign, technology secretary Michelle Donelan said: “The appetite and potential British scaleups have for growth is immense. We can no longer allow digital skills shortages to limit their ambition.

“Whether your personal ambition is to secure a comfy pay packet, land a creative role, solve the world’s most pressing challenges, or all three, the skills bootcamps we are promoting can help achieve your own career goals while being part of our superpower sector.”

The research by Barclays Eagle Labs and Beauhurst, which is funded through DSIT’s Digital Growth Grant, found that technology roles overall pay 55% more than the national average, and that skills offered through the bootcamps, such as cloud computing, can lead to an average salary of £70,000.

The research report highlighted that while traditional tech roles are changing, new roles in more specialised fields are emerging.

“However, the gap between the skills available in the workforce and those needed by employers continues to widen,” the report said.

“Vacancies with such high median salaries show there is clear potential for the tech sector to improve prospects for people right across the UK”
Amanda Allan, Barclays Eagle Labs

Director of Barclays Eagle Labs, Amanda Allan, said the report outlines that the technology sector continues to grow and that there are “highly paid opportunities available”.

“Vacancies with such high median salaries show there is clear potential for the tech sector to improve prospects for people right across the UK,” she said. “We think it is important to continue to facilitate growth in the technology sector, which is why we offer one of the largest entrepreneurial networks in the UK.”

The skills bootcamps last between 12 and 16 weeks, are available both part-time and full-time in various locations around the country, and require no prior technology knowledge or qualifications. The aim is to prepare participants for high-tech careers, with everyone being guaranteed a job interview once they complete the course. The bootcamps are funded by the Department of Education as part of its Skills For Life drive.

The DSIT campaign to get more people to sign up to the bootcamps is supported by the Digital Skills Council, which comprises major technology companies and skills-focused organisations.

Co-chair of the council, and chairman of IQE, Pail Smith, said the council welcomed the research, which reinforces “just how important the work and goals of the council are in bringing together government and industry to improve the confidence, capability and leadership of the UK in digital skills”.

“Digital skills are vital throughout the economy and existing successful programmes such as bootcamps play an important role in providing relevant and focused upskilling and a proven path into high-value, enjoyable jobs.”

Read more about digital skills

  • A lack of skilled workers is forcing hiring managers to use salary and benefits such as flexibility to compete for talent, according to research from global recruiter Morgan McKinley.
  • Government is aiming to ramp up digital skills in Whitehall with a promise to recruit 2,500 new tech and digital roles through apprenticeships and talent programmes.
  • The UK has plans to become a tech superpower by the end of the decade, but the region still has problems with attracting and retaining talent – so how are these issues being addressed?

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