Government investment in tech development ‘only scratching the surface’

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Following the announcement that the UK government will allocate £270 million to put the UK at the forefront of the global technological progress, through developing AI, robotics and driverless vehicles, as well as an additional £300 million to support research talent, particularly in STEM subjects, but some believe that technology education needs to be enhanced at an earlier age.

Technology Will Save Us chief executive and co-founder Bethany Koby commented: “The announcement that the UK government will be allocating budget towards the UK tech industry is absolutely a step in the right direction, however, investing money into STEM focused research talent and technology development is only scratching the surface.

“I do believe that the UK tech scene will be disrupted by investing in talent, but, the talent that really matters is the next generation… We should be investing in the talent of the future.”

She added: “We have seen huge strides in the UK educational system over the last few years. As an example, the UK is the first country in the world to have computer sciences as part of the curriculum, and in addition, children as young as five are now learning programming skills in the classroom. However, coding and computer sciences are just a tiny element of the many skills kids need to be exposed to in order to make informed decisions about their future careers in a global context.

“The technology industry is relatively new and has a lot of entrepreneurial momentum. As a result, we see governments becoming wary of a quickly evolving curriculum. Learning technology scholar Cathy Davidson concluded that 65% of children entering grade school this year will end up working in careers that haven’t even been invented yet. I’d like to see the UK invest more into teaching technology in schools, in finding ways to encourage children to get hands on with technology so they are equipped with the skills to prepare them for the unknown future world of work.

“Investing in the UK educational system, and in turn, the inventors and tech leaders of the future, is integral to the UK disrupting the global tech industry and becoming a true tech leader.”

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