As we emerge from the worst stages of the coronavirus and start to deal with the economic and social consequences of having to shut down whole sectors of the economy, governments will be competing more fiercely than ever for investment to help sustain and create jobs.
Underpinning this will be a renewed focus on higher quality skills, which will be critical for the future of the economy. This is certainly the message which comes across loud and clear in EY’s 2020 Attractiveness Survey ‘Building Back b
etter’ which looks at trends in inward investment into the UK.
Attracting inward investment is as important now as it was in the early 1980s when the UK’s traditional industries were in decline and unemployment was high. EY identified in its report that investors prioritise skills supply over many other factors when looking for a location for their capital and that inward investors in the UK are particularly focused on digital projects. This, combined with the tech sector representing almost 8 per cent of the UK economy and continuing to grow fast, means the development and supply of higher level digital skills will remain an economic priority.
The trends highlighted in EY’s survey are important to us at WorldSkills UK as we work with our partners across the UK and globally to address some of the challenges raised in the report about skills supply and quality. We know from our recent work in launching our Centre of Excellence, in partnership with NCFE, that there is an incredible appetite in the sector, despite the current challenges, to drive excellence in technical education. That is why we have set out three key actions in our new report, Answering the call for digital skills excellence from international investors.