And for those not in higher education or able to make a bootcamp, opportunities for tech mentoring and apprenticeships, which are increasingly gaining traction in the U.K., should be adopted by more tech firms. Germany's apprenticeship system, for example, has demonstrated the value of apprenticeships and how they can serve as an entry point to a career in tech.
Yet the issue of talent and skills is not one that that the private sector can solve alone. The state also has a role to play.
In the U.K., the government has taken a bold step by becoming the first in the world to establish coding as part of the school national curriculum. This is encouraging – as South Korea has shown, an education that focuses on science, maths and tech reaps rewards for global tech innovation. But the government must also help to foster a national culture, and raise awareness, of the importance and potential of a career in technology.
Just as graduates would traditionally aspire to a career at a big law firm or consultancy, we now need our young people to dream of careers at start-ups like money transfer service Transferwise or taxi app Hailo (both founded in London) – or even founding the next big tech start-up. Following this year's school exam results, statistics from the examining bodies in England which show that more young people are studying science- or math-based A-levels are encouraging.
Ultimately, a constant and reliable source of talent must be home-grown. But attracting the best and brightest from around the world is just as important to gain a competitive advantage. This is why the state must ensure that the tech sector is as open and accessible to foreign talent as it can be.
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Take Chile's "Chilicon Valley" for example - founded on the principle of welcoming immigrant entrepreneurs by offering them a one-off investment of $40,000 and a year-long work visa. Since its inception, it has welcomed thousands of entrepreneurs from dozens of different countries, and is quickly establishing itself as South America's leading entrepreneurial hub.
To help encourage this in London, Tech London Advocates has launched the "Home Office Hours" initiative, which provides advice and support to overseas tech talent who wish to work in London's technology sector. It also continues to hold discussions with the Home Office on immigration policy and visas for exceptional tech talent.
London's tech sector is innovating and – through tech verticals like datatech, healthtech, and fintech – re-shaping how we live our lives. We must ensure we nourish it with the talent it deserves.