Just a week before the annual Budget is to be announced, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond have announced plans of doubling the number of "exceptional talent" visas for high-skilled workers entering the United Kingdom to 2,000 in a major boost to British start-ups fearing a post-Brexit skills shortage.
The new funding for Tech Nation will see the organisation expand its hub model to more cities around the country, including Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Birmingham. It is hoped the stimulus will reduce the threat of startups leaving the United Kingdom and ensure that talent is not dissuaded from departing. She has also set aside £20 million for a training programme that will encourage thousands of teenagers to get involved in cyber security.
"It is absolutely right that this dynamic sector, which makes such an vast contribution to our economic life and to our society, has the full backing of Government", Mrs May said. Helping our world-class entrepreneurs and innovators to succeed is how we lay the foundations for our prosperity and build an economy fit for the future.
"Our digital tech sector is one of the UK's fastest-growing industries, and is supporting talent, boosting productivity, and creating hundreds of thousands of good, high-skilled jobs up and down the country", said the Prime Minister.
'Britain is a world leader in digital innovation with some of the brightest and best tech firms operating in this country, ' claimed Chancellor Phillip Hammond in support of the announcement.
Old Mutual Wealth to rebrand as Quilter
Old Mutual's higher end advice business, Private Client Advisers, will also rebrand as Quilter Private Client Advisers. Work on determining the future of the single strategy business is still ongoing, it said.
"Technology is at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy, and we will continue to invest in the best new innovations and ideas, in the brightest and best talent, and in revolutionary digital infrastructure", said May. "That means Government doing all it can to secure a strong future for our thriving tech sector and ensure people in all corners of our nation share in the benefits of its success".
A new £2m pilot voucher scheme is also being launched today by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), in Aberdeenshire, Bristol/Bath and North East Somerset, Coventry and Warwickshire, and West Yorkshire.
Matt Clifford, co-founder and CEO of Entrepreneur First, said: "We commend the Home Office's decision to increase the number of Tier 1 exceptional talent visas".
"If London is to continue being the European hub for tech, and if it is to grow to rival other internationally significant tech centres, we must ensure the United Kingdom becomes an increasingly welcoming hub for EU and non-EU nationals alike".
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