Why businesses should be working with students to encourage the innovation of IT outsourcing across the UK.

The recent Tech Nation Report, issued earlier this month, gave the positive news that there are significant pockets of technology firms rising up across the UK – with as many as three quarters of digital companies based outside of London in places like Brighton, Liverpool, Bath and Bristol[1]. Digital focused jobs are also predicted to outperform other occupations by 2020 across the UK with as many as 90% of digital firms expecting their revenue to rise this year1. With this in mind, there needs to be a strong focus on ensuring students receive the best possible IT education, to ensure Britain remains at the forefront of the digital revolution.

In fact IT is a low cost venture and is not reliant on tax breaks for out of town planning that older industry companies may have needed. You can learn to become an SEO expert in Rotherham just as easily as you can in London and if you study in Rotherham it’ll be far cheaper than renting a swanky flat in Shoreditch! Perhaps that’s why three quarters of the UK’s digital companies operate outside of London. Therefore when looking for an IT outsourcing partner, companies should perhaps consider going further afield too.

However, Britain does not have a strong enough focus on exploiting and fostering the right skills when it comes to the education of IT and digital capabilities. The rate of change means that if you take a four year technical degree, after three years most of what you’ve learnt is obsolete. Youngsters today are probably going to end up doing a job that does not yet exist. They will need to be trained in a job that doesn’t yet exist, using tools that have yet to be created and in market places that have not been found. Remember the world we were in without Facebook, Twitter or the millions of gaming apps available today? It was a time when many digital jobs didn’t exist either. 

That’s where businesses can come in and help. Businesses need to do more to foster great relationships with schools and universities as more digital jobs open up, to ensure universities are really producing the emerging skills that businesses will actually need.

Take Big Data and the Internet of Things, for example, there will be a problem with finding the right recruit for data analysts and scientists as these markets grow, you cannot do a degree in something that only started three years ago. The world is moving that fast. 

At Velocity we welcome the news that the digital boom across the UK is growing. However, we feel the Government should be doing more to encourage people to set up their own tech start-ups and to help those working in the science and technology industry – perhaps tax credits as a real incentive to foster development and innovation. All companies in the UK should be embracing the innovative improvements that digital technology offers – not just those based in Tech City or around the capital.


[1] Information Age, 5th February 2015 - http://www.information-age.com/industry/uk-industry/123458969/uk-digital-growth-driven-largely-outside-london-david-cameron-welcomes-tech-nation-report


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