Joining Forces to Invest in Local Talent: the Smartest Post-Brexit Move

Whatever you think about Brexit it now becomes more imperative than ever to invest in British talent. It’s the one bright strand of silver lining to the otherwise challenging recruitment cloud.

The tech sector have been slow to develop the right kind of training schemes at scale – partly because agencies and start-ups like ours are too small to develop in-house schemes and partly because the jobs roles in the industry move forward so fast that it’s hard to keep up.

But what we do know is that the sector has been struggling to find new talent with the right skills to meet its recruitment needs.

By the time the referendum came around, tech businesses were feeling the effects of the talent shortage more keenly, calling for more non-UK workers to help grow our businesses, not fewer. A poll before the referendum revealed how many tech businesses were worried that leaving the EU would impact negatively on skills. 81 per cent of respondents said that Brexit would make it harder for them to hire workers from EU countries.

We are intensely proud at the ustwo studio in London to claim over 29 different nationalities as part of our family of around 100 colleagues in our client services business. It’s even more if you include our studios in New York, Malmö and Sydney. We rely on their skills and talents, and together we make better digital products due to the expertise and global perspective they bring.

Then came Brexit. Boom!

A hard Brexit means fewer people will be able to come to the UK to work than they did before – whether from Europe or from other parts of the world. The government is planning to double the Immigration Skills Charge, meaning companies will have to pay twice the price to hire a new worker from outside of the UK. The average estimated cost of doing so have risen to over £14k.

This one of the reasons ustwo came together with our partner agencies to develop Flipside – a training scheme to train young people in creative digital skills. We are joining forces to train the next generation of UX, product and digital designers with a bottom-up scheme devised by us – a group of leading digital design agencies hungry for new talent.

Our partners Made by Many, Beyond, Create JobsSennep, Siberia and Reading Roomco-created the scheme with us using content specific to each agency.

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We are incredibly pleased that the London Legacy Development Corporation – the agency that run and manage the Olympic Park – will host the scheme. And that Ada Digital Skills College – the new training provider to set up to train local young people in coding skills – have been appointed as the training provider. The scheme is good hands.

What we will do as agencies is provide the content and work experience to excite and orientate young talent around the skills they need to work in digital agency world.

The average salary in the UK’s tech scene is £51k, and growing at more than twice the rate of non-digital sector jobs. When you think of that, Flipside is a total no-brainer for young people living a stone’s throw from London’s burgeoning tech cluster.

Let’s do this! Brexit or no Brexit!