DavidsonMorris acts as immigration legal advisers to a range of tech companies, from ambitious start-ups through to larger, more established digital organisations.
The tech sector is reported to make up 6% of the UK economy. Yet recent parliamentary studies also show the UK tech sector is suffering a critical shortage in skilled digital workers.
In last year’s ‘Digital Skills for the Economy’ report, the Government acknowledges the shortage in ‘suitable digital skills’ for tech jobs among the UK-born working population. This is cited a being ‘a major risk to business growth, innovation and broader societal development’.
The Government is actively pursuing long-term measures to close the domestic skill gap, including introduction of the Apprenticeship levy to fund on-the-job training for young workers as they enter the job market.
In the short-term however, tech businesses still require talent – best talent within highly specialised areas – to be able to realise their commercial goals, such as competing on a global scale.
With a range of visa options potentially available to digital workers, and onerous immigration duties on employers, employing foreign workers can seem daunting – particularly for start-ups with little-to-no experience of moving talent to and from Britain.
To meet their recruitment needs, many tech companies are looking overseas. Acceleration initiatives such as Tech City UK and visa concessions in instances of exceptional talent are geared toward supporting tech companies in competing with established hubs such as Silicon Valley for skilled digital workers.