UK SMEs 'Need More Skilled Tech Workers'

Virgin Media Calls On Govt To Address Skills Shortage

08.01.2015

The next government must make it a priority to tackle the SME sector's technological skills shortage, Virgin Media Business has said.

The telecoms company said that small businesses are missing out on a potential £3.8bn in revenue because they are unable to take full advantage of all the technology available to them.

Many small firms are having trouble recruiting employees with the skills to utilise growth areas such as data centres and big data, and with an election on the horizon political parties must be seen to be addressing this skills shortage, it said.

Mike Smith, Head of SME at Virgin Media Business, said digital skills and enablement, such as the recently-announced extension to the Superconnected Cities scheme, will be key issues in this year's election.

"Businesses and government need to work together to bridge the gap between those doing technology well, and those that need more support," he said.

"The UK already has a really strong tech infrastructure, so let’s make sure we utilise it properly to prepare today’s businesses for the jobs of the future."

Expert Opinion
Leveraging the benefits of technology is vital to all businesses, but smaller firms can particularly benefit from how such tools – including online platforms – mean they can actively compete directly with larger competitors.

"As a result, having access to skills and know-how which allow them to take advantage of systems and platforms integral to their relevant sectors. It is vital that small business recognise the importance of such expertise and the Government also works to drive up the number of people who are equipped to provide that level of support.

"SMEs should also ensure that they understand the need to consider regulations when using technology and online services, including those related to data protection."
Steven Beahan, Partner