What the 2021 Autumn Budget means for the tech sector

On Wednesday 27th October 2021, The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, unveiled the contents of his Budget in the House of Commons. It set out the government’s tax and spending plans to Parliament.

Each year, in the Autumn Budget, the tech sector is briefly mentioned. However, this year the budget detailed the ways in which the UK government plans to foster the development of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) skills. This fits into the government’s ‘Build Back Better’ manifesto which was published in March this year. Sunak has promised to invest £3 billion into skills and education, which, in total, will hopefully drive people into better-paying careers and jobs. Accompanying this, £550 million will be dedicated to what Sunak calls a ‘skills revolution’. Build Back Better aims to support economic growth within the UK through investment in infrastructure, skills and innovation. You can read more about the government’s plans here.

The announcement for more funding into the tech sector, and such skilled related jobs, will see more available spots to study artificial intelligence (AI) and cyber security. Additionally, it’s good news for a further 100,000 students studying T-Levels. T-Levels are new 2-year courses that follow GCSEs and are equivalent to 3 A-levels. The Government has announced that £1.6 billion will be invested into more one-on-one time and classroom hours so students get the support they need for their technical qualifications.

Apart from technology-related education, other highlights in the Autumn Budget surrounding the tech industry include an immigration overhaul in order to allow specialists from abroad to move and work in Britain more easily. There will also be a focus on employees already here in the UK, with a huge investment in upskilling and reskilling of adults due to take place, according to Sunak. Some of the yearly budgets have also been set aside for tech-specific tax relief support in areas like cloud computing and data processing for businesses and the NHS.

Some previous investments from last year’s budget are designed to help clear the backlog of patients due to the pandemic. Rishi Sunak has also announced an extra £2.1 billion that will go towards supporting the overhaul of the NHS’s infamously outdated IT systems. This hopes to provide NHS and healthcare workers with faster broadband and, therefore, better and easier access to digital records.

Furthermore, regarding an improved IT service, the government stated: “Over the next three years [we intend] to support innovative use of digital technology so hospitals and other care organisations are as connected and efficient as possible, freeing up valuable NHS staff time and ensuring the best care for patients wherever they are”.

Our previous news article, found here on our website, touches on the new green tech UK strategy that the government will be focusing on. Sunak touched on the greener outlook in the 2021 Autumn Budget, suggesting more will be done for better green tech adoption in the UK.

We hope that in the years to come the Autumn Budget acts as a catalyst for better and more streamlined tech industry, with a particular focus on helping those who need better access to technology. We also hope that the budget will help those trying to excel in their a career in the tech sector.

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