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Next government must support digital economy, says techUK

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Image credit: Eugene Ivanoff via Shutterstock

Trade association techUK has called on the government to support the digital economy as a way to tackle the country’s biggest issues, ahead of the next general election.

In its newly unveiled Tech Plan, the trade association outlined how supporting the tech industry could give the government a major boost in dealing with wage stagnation, a struggling NHS and net zero challenges.

“Whoever forms the next government will face a number of challenges, from how to increase economic growth, to supporting our public services, to how we address climate change,” said Julian David, CEO of techUK.

“The UK tech sector should be a key partner in addressing these challenges with the better use of digital technology viewed as the main opportunity for growth across all business sectors and how to transform public services from the NHS to policing.”

The plan recommended reforms to the apprenticeship levy, as well as the launch of a new Digital Skills Toolkit to accelerate upskilling and retaining top talent.

It also suggested a doubled-down effort to digitally transform the NHS for more effective community support and preventative health care.

The plan further stated that digitising the national grid could cut net zero transformation costs by as much as £17.6bn per year.

“We can seize this opportunity if we see our tech sector as the engine of growth and change across our society and economy,” David added.

“However, to achieve this we need politicians to act, set out a long-term plan for the sector, provide a better approach to regulation and deliver on strategies for key technologies.”

Sheila Flavell, techUK president and COO of FDM Group, added: “The UK tech sector is Britain’s modern economic success story, serving as one of the economy’s higher contributors, but mounting economic and geopolitical challenges are starting to weigh heavy on the technology business community.

“With the right support the UK tech sector has the potential to add £200bn to the economy every year as well as supporting our society, citizens, and the planet.”

The next election date is currently expected to be in January 2025, unless the prime minister calls one sooner.

The trade association represents nearly 1,000 members and its goal is to “ensure the UK is the best place for technology companies to locate and thrive”.

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