With 750,000 new digital jobs by 2020 the UK is facing a huge tech skills shortage. Brexit could help fill this gap. “Could” being the most important word in that sentence.
Before my recruitment days I spent a summer working in parliament between my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Studies. In my time there I witnessed a vote to leave the EU, a change of Prime Minister, and an unprecedented amount of shadow cabinet resignations. It was a crazy time.
Almost 3 years on I have left parliament, finished my studies, started my recruitment career finding top talent for the UK tech market and then switched to doing the same for the Berlin Tech scene. Being English and recruiting into an international Berlin naturally the topic of Brexit will come up in conversation whilst I’m on the phone, and sometimes people are interested to hear my opinion.
If anything, I was expecting to become much more Europe-centric in my stance whilst recruiting into Berlin. But this has not been the case.
Well, one thing that stands out about Berlin tech is its truly international nature. Each day I speak to tech professionals from all corners of the globe: Egypt, Brazil, China, the Lebanon, and I could literally list the countries all day. The relative ease of obtaining a visa goes some way to addressing the huge skills shortages in Berlin. Something I think maybe the UK can learn from as they look to attract talent in a time where a good Software Developer has a large list of vacancies to choose from; or should I say a large list of recruiter’s emails to choose to reply to.
In Recruiting into the Berlin market what I’ve realised is that, yes! Europe is a big place and something that should definitely be treasured. But, the rest of the world is even bigger, and in each corner of the globe is an immense amount of talent that can, not only address the skills shortage, but also add some real value to the UK’s tech industry.
Of course, Brexit has the potential to make the UK look inwards which would be catastrophic. Conversely, it could actually give the UK Tech market an opportunity to look at the wider world for strong tech talent, and it is this that can make the UK realise how big the world actually is.