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London’s tech sector pledges job creation

Tech London Advocates, the network of 7,000 tech leaders, experts and investors, has pledged to hit one million tech jobs in the capital by 2023, with signatures from more than 200 of the UK’s tech leaders.

The pledge involves a personal commitment to address three key obstacles to tech employment in the UK – gender diversity, inclusion for under-represented minorities and attracting young people to the industry.

More than 200 tech leaders have signed the pledge, including the likes of Baroness Shields, chairperson of BenevolentAI; Lord Jim Knight, founder of TES Global; Kathryn Parsons, founder of Decoded; Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, president of techUK, and Amali de Alwis MBE, founder of Code First Girls and ComputerWeekly’s Most Influential Woman in Tech in 2018.

Representatives from some of London’s largest employers have signed the pledge, such as Telefonica, BT Consumer, Samsung UK, Oracle, and Heathrow Airport.

In addition, leading names from across the tech ecosystem from the likes of Microsoft UK, CityMapper, CybSafe, Box and Twilio, have all committed to the cause.

According to online recruiter, Adzuna, there are currently 48,000 live vacancies for tech positions in the UK, and members of Tech London Advocates consistently cite a shortage of talent as the single biggest challenge they face in the capital.

Yet at the same time, significant under-representation in the industry continues across gender, ethnicity, young people, disabled people and the LGBTQ+ community. Tech London Advocates wants to address this disparity and encourage action over the next five years.

With current tech employment standing at 318,480 (Tech Nation 2018), to reach the one million figure, London tech will need to bring one new employee into the industry every three minutes.

Industry leaders have pledged to the following core areas of focus – improving the gender imbalance, increasing inclusion for under-represented social groups, adjusting the education system, and reforming the immigration process.

Tech London Advocates will be conducting research annually for the next five years to track improvement across these areas.

Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates & Global Tech Advocates, said: “It is wonderful to see leading figures from the UK tech community pledging their commitment to this cause in such high numbers.

“Talent is the most pressing issue faced by digital businesses – both big and small –  and only through joint action can we make a lasting difference. The tech sector is one of Britain’s stand out industries, and by strengthening its foundations we can sustain its growth, and keep Britain at the forefront of global innovation.”