In the not too distant past I would have opened up this piece with the now outdated cliché of “you can’t open up a newspaper or turn on your TV these days without…”
However, the average train commuter today probably has their nose in a smartphone or tablet rather than a newspaper, so instead I’ll offer: You can’t blankly gaze at a smart device these days without being inundated with facts and figures on both the growth of British business and how the digital revolution is driving big and entrepreneurial business alike.
The stock exchange has hit record highs; the economy is forecast to keep growing by 2.5 per cent for both 2015 and 2016; digital business will contribute an estimated £12bn of economic activity to UK; London, the South East, Oxford and Cambridge technology hubs are growing more quickly than Silicon Valley… We’ve even had Stephen Hawking warning that robots will be the end of us all (please excuse the artistic licence; he didn’t mention Skynet or Terminators per se).
Politicians are championing the message of mass job creation, but on the ground, in the talent market where technology recruiters spend their days filling key roles, the success of business and the effectiveness of new technologies are causing our clients a major headache.
There are simply not enough relevant technology candidates to meet our customers’ demand. Since 1990, the digital revolution has led to the creation of up to 10 new technology-led job titles. In a recent survey of both small and large companies, 76 per cent and 88 per cent respectively highlighted a lack of tech talent as a major inhibitor to the success of their business. The most challenging areas to recruit currently are data science, cyber security, technical product management and development.
There is no quick fix. To ensure this problem is addressed, and a sustainable solution provided, we must confront the issue at source, but some tentative steps have been taken. The National Curriculum now includes coding as a mandatory subject for five-to-16 year olds and the BBC has recently kicked off its “make it digital” campaign to raise awareness among “generation Z”. But more needs to be done and it needs to be done quickly.
As part of our commitment to supporting Britain’s future talent at Michael Page, we are looking to inspire the UK’s up-and-coming technology talent by sponsoring the Young IT Professional of the Year Award at the UK IT Industry Awards on 18th November at the Battersea Park Arena, London.
We recognise the opportunity that technology offers to both businesses and candidates alike. However, for technology functions to meet evolving business needs, it is the human aspect that will ultimately dictate success.
Technology talent must have the necessary relationship-building skills and relevant commercial acumen to help drive business decisions in order to be effective.
To find out more about our capabilities, speak to someone at Michael Page Technology today. Technology professionals urgently required – robots need not apply.
James Barrett is director of Michael Page Technology. Michael Page Technology is a sponsor of the UK IT Industry Awards 2015, from Computing and the BCS, the chartered institute of IT.

Leave a Reply