How can the UK gain a competitive edge before it leaves the EU?
Yesterday, Prime Minister Teresa May announced her plan for the UK’s industry, in preparation for post-Brexit Britain. She has shone a spotlight especially on R&D, supporting local businesses, the upgrading of infrastructure, driving growth, and helping workers to develop skills.
“Underpinning this strategy is a new approach to government, not just stepping back and leaving business to get on with the job, but stepping up to a new, active role that backs business and ensures more people in all corners of the country share in the benefits of its success. This active government will build on Britain’s strategic strengths and tackle our underlying weaknesses, like low productivity,” May said.
Following on from this announcement, Matthew Finnie – CTO at Interoute – commented on the country’s current gap between jobs and available skills, and how this is restricting the industry from gaining a competitive edge:
“The UK economy is at risk of being held back by a chronic skills shortage. One that prevents British industry from embracing change and gaining a competitive edge through digital transformation and high-tech initiatives.
“To combat this challenge, UK businesses will have to access and firmly invest in a wider talent pool. For example, we recently announced a major investment in jobs and technology development out of our new office in Nottingham, reflecting that the city has one of the youngest populations and a highly-educated workforce with two leading universities.
“As the new industrial strategy comes into effect, skills in partner management and strategic relationships will increasingly become key to competitive success. We’ll start to see organisations get better at working out what expertise they need to own and what they can comfortably outsource, especially on the digital front. Understanding this will provide a framework for which skills need to be nurtured in-house and which can be brought-in as a service, using digital environments to bring together dispersed and mobile working groups in the very moment they need to connect.”