Tech companies in East London must do more to support the growth of local tech talent, according to the Centre for London’s ‘This is for Everyone’ report.
Local young people are “not considering a future in” tech, the think tank has found, and most still do not know about the opportunities on offer in this growing industry.
“‘Tech City’ might loom large in the imaginations of those responsible for London’s economic development, and for those working in it, but few young people know about it,”
the report said.
They found that tech companies are still struggling to recruit people with the right skills and that many have hiring policies that exclude people from more diverse social backgrounds.
“Most of the companies we interviewed tended to recruit from one or two tried and tested routes – most recruited from prestigious universities or through their personal networks and those of their employees. While they are open, in principle, to recruiting from a larger pool and were particularly interested in recruiting local young people, they were worried about possible risks involved.”
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Some 60 digital learning platforms now exist in and around the cluster and one of the 13 recommendations made in the report says that a Digital Skills Charter should be created for the area, where every company that signs agrees to make an annual contribution to supporting these schemes, appropriate to their size and circumstance. This would vary from volunteering, to offering free space and funding or taking on trainees.
The report also recommends the appointment of specialist digital careers advisors based in Tech City. They have also called for greater collaboration between local government, central government and business.