Chancellor Phillip Hammond is expected to put a focus on technology in tomorrow's Autumn Budget, with announcements around education, 5G and driverless cars.
The technology industry will benefit from the government attempting to boost the UK's competitiveness in the sector, as the wider economy stagnates post-Brexit.
New teachers to address skills shortage...
The government will invest £100 million in training 8,000 new computer science teachers. Computer science was added to the official job shortage list in January, along with Mandarin and general science.
More teachers should help to address the UK's digital skills gap, which has been blamed on a lack of education over the past decade. Three in four UK companies have said that their staff lack important digital skills, despite 84 per cent telling the British Chamber of Commerce in April that digital and technical knowledge is more important now than they were two years ago.
The new teachers will be supported by a new National Centre for Computing, which will help to ensure that teachers have "the specialist training and support they need to educate the next generation of British computer scientists," said Google's head of computer science education programmes for the UK and Africa, Obum Ekeke.
...and Google will help
The search giant has announced plans to invest £1 million to help to train UK computing teachers in secondary schools, through the Raspberry Pi Foundation; British Computer Society; and National STEM Learning Centre.
Investments in AI development and education
The government will put £20 million towards supporting businesses working in artificial intelligence, and an additional £45 million to encourage more PhD students to work in the field. £9 million will go towards the establishment of an AI advisory body.
Money for 5G continues
5G technology was a controversial investment in the Spring Budget, and Hammond is set to continue his support of the standard. £35 million will be spent on improving mobile signal and WiFi speeds for rail passengers, with trials taking place on the Trans-Pennine route.
Driverless cars rely on 5G connectivity to ‘talk' to each other, and the Chancellor is also expected to announce 5G testing on roads in the near future.
Regulatory reform for autonomous vehicles
Earlier this month, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said that driverless cars will be "a revolution" for many people, and that he is committed to seeing the UK "at the forefront" of the move.
The Chancellor is expected to follow Grayling's statement with an overhaul to regulations for these vehicles, with plans to see them on British roads by 2021.
The rumour of more IR35 tax reforms in the Budget, this time for the private sector, was greeted with scorn by contractor associations last week.
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