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London Tech Week 2022: 3 key talent takeaways you need to know about

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ARTICLE SUMMARY

Tech skills, diversity and recruitment were hot topics at this year’s London Tech Week. Here's everything you need to know.

London Tech Week took place in Westminster this week bringing together other 20,000 technologists. The annual event aims to showcase tech innovation in Europe’s leading technology hub. Throughout the week, global leaders share their expertise in hundreds of sessions and meetups.

There were 3 key messages announced at London Tech Week for those looking to skill up and build a successful career in technology.

Here’s everything you need to know.

1.EQL:Pledge announced

Hillary Clinton announced a worldwide programme called EQL:Pledge to assist founders from underrepresented backgrounds to secure capital. The collaboration between Pitch and EQL:Her aims to put pitch decks in front of investors from a range of underrepresented groups. The pledge calls for investors to commit a number or percentage of investments to entrepreneurs from backgrounds including women, people of colour and the LGBTQIA+ community.

‍Speaking on the “a pledge for change” panel at London Tech Week, the former US Secretary of State stressed that support for the pledge is important but that “it has to be quantified because it won’t count unless you can demonstrate that it’s actually occurring.”

‍Clinton was joined on the panel by Dame Vivian Hunt, a senior partner at management consulting firm McKinsey & Company; Anne Glover, co-founder of technology investor Amadeus; and June Sarpong, head of creative diversity at the BBC.

Glover emphasised that minority communities have a “huge talent gap.”

“One of the things we can all do is encourage the underrepresented groups to go study the fields and the industries of the future.”

2. UK Digital Strategy unveiled

The government announced its new UK Digital Strategy to kick off the launch of London Tech Week.

Part of the strategy includes a Digital Skills Council, which aims to bring tech leaders together to address the skills gap. Leaders include experts from Starling, Amazon Web Services and Multiverse.

The government estimates that its approach to strengthening the digital economy could create a further 678,000 jobs.

Working with employers the council aims to encourage investment in employer-led training, in addition to finding ways that the industry can inspire the next generation of tech talent.

The council will be chaired by Digital Minister Chris Philp and Phil Smith CBE FREng, chairman of British semiconductor firm IQE Plc.

Furthermore, the Office for Students has announced that it will be the provider of up to 2,000 AI and data science scholarships funded by the government.

Up to £23 million will be allocated to universities to fund scholarships in 2023. Funding will be made available for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, disabled students, females and people of colour.

The government is encouraging UK businesses to boost the “future AI talent pipeline” by match-funding scholarships for AI and data science conversion courses.

3. Visa system for international talent

Chancellor Rishi Sunak opened London Tech Week by drawing attention to the government’s recently announced High Potential Individual visa.

Graduates from the world’s top universities can now apply to come to the UK under the visa scheme. It is open to individuals who have graduated from the top non-UK universities within the last 5 years, regardless of where they were born. The graduates do not require a job offer to apply.

Success applicants will receive a work visa for 2 years if they hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree and 3 years if they hold a PhD. After which they can switch to long-term employment visas if they meet certain requirements.

Sunak said one of the government’s priorities is to equip “our people with the skills they need to thrive. We have some of the best-educated people in the world. And the percentage of tertiary-level graduates studying STEM courses here in the UK is higher than even the US.”

However, he noted: “But we don’t have a monopoly on talent. Nearly half of our STEM researchers are immigrants…and around half of our most innovative fastest companies have an immigrant founder.”

“So we’re making our visa system for international talent the most competitive in the world.”

Discussing the new international visa scheme during his London Tech Week speech he said: “If you come to the UK, we will back you to succeed. Nothing like that exists anywhere else in the world.

“And it sums up our philosophy when it comes to visas: Less ‘build it and they will come’, and more ‘let them come and they will build it’.”

London Tech Week 2022

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