The announcement of a snap General Election on 8th June has caused ripples in many UK sectors, including the IT, digital and tech sector. The industry is currently thriving, outperforming the rest of the economy and bucking all trends in relation to pre-Brexit uncertainty.
But what will the General Election mean for digital, IT and tech – will anything actually change at all?
Brexit deals and the UK’s digital economy
This is not just a General Election. The outcome on 8th June also affects the course that the country will take as it leaves the European Union, which in turn affects crucial economy-supporting sectors such as digital. Industry insiders such as techUK’s CEO Julian David are keeping a close eye on each party’s pledges in relation support and investment for the digital sector. David was quoted by Electronics Weekly as saying:
“Tech businesses will be looking to the UK’s political parties to set out clear plans for how they intend to support economic stability and to keep the UK at the forefront of global technological innovation and digitisation,”
“The next government will need to demonstrate that it understands the needs of the UK’s most dynamic businesses by building a long-term industrial strategy, developing a new approach to skills and education fit for the 21st century and creating the right conditions for businesses and people to thrive across the UK.”
A unique opportunity
Rather than worry about the potential impact of a new government on the sector, some industry experts see the election as a unique opportunity to push for new government investment and commitment to recruitment and skills in the UK – which includes digital. Samantha Hurley, who is the operations director at the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), told Recruitment International:
“Considering we were promised that there would be no General Election until 2020, Theresa May’s announcement is nothing short of surprising. However, a snap election offers the opportunity to get skills, jobs, and recruitment up the agenda, not only from an internal perspective, but also with regards to the Brexit negotiations.
To date, initial discussions on a possible interim trade deal have focused heavily on goods rather than services. We hope that the Government’s election campaign will act as a catalyst to firm up strategies around skills and employment post-Brexit and push UK skills and the importance of the UK professional labour market into the spotlight.”
As with Brexit, only time will tell on the actual impact that the General Election will have on key UK sectors such as digital – but there isn’t too long to wait until the election result comes in. Neither recruiters nor job hunters need to worry with the industry in such rude health at the moment, as demand for digital jobs and skills continues to soar.