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Start-ups need more support if London’s digital economy is to develop, according to business leaders at Westminster Policy Forum.

The UK’s digital start-ups are up against several challenges if the country is to develop London’s digital economy. A recent seminar at the Westminster Policy Forum addressed these issues. The seminar, called 'Developing London’s tech sector: infrastructure, finance, skills and support for start-ups' hosted a platform for digital startup’s to share their opinions on what is holding London’s digital economy back.

Long term problems

According to Optimity founder and managing director Anthony Impey, London has been successful in growing its digital economy and that has put pressure on the city's infrastructure.

Impey also referred to the current skills shortage and stated, he believes they are directly correlated to the long‐term viability of London and the UK’s digital economy.
“There’s a report out from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills that says the digital sector will need 300,000 new jobs in the next five years, and that is a staggering number of jobs," he stated.

Skills shortages

The UK is already experiencing a dip on available skills that are available. The short term solution to the problem is to relax visa restrictions to create an influx of new skills. However there needs to be a long term solution where the skills market in the UK is greatly increased.

“We are already experiencing a crunch in the available skills that we have, and so there’s a lot of pressure on easing the visa restrictions to bring skills into the country, but we need to have a long‐term solution for skills, because bringing talent into the country will only fix our short‐term issues.”

“One idea that’s been mooted in a London setting is maybe even having a London-specific visa. I’m not convinced by that, but it’s one of the ideas that’s being thrown around.”

In order for the digital market to become vibrant and ever expanding London needs to offer more to start-ups.

Further reading

For the full article and more information about the seminar, Please visit: http://www.computerweekly.com/news/4500244638/UK-startups-facing-too-many-challenges-say-entrepreneurs