The United Kingdom has been preparing for the potential consequences of Brexit for its tech industry for months and a key industry group is urging government to keep up the pressure ahead of the country’s June referendum.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) released a report Wednesday that details its assessment of how businesses should be preparing for an economic downturn and suggested that they should be looking for ways to “increase productivity, improve productivity and streamline and stream out processes in the future.”
It also said the UK could be at greater risk of being shut out of the European Union’s single market if it leaves the EU.
The report, titled “Imagining the future of the British economy and IT industry,” is a response to a series of recent polls showing that a majority of Brits think that Brexit will hurt the country economically and negatively impact the tech sector.
The report notes that “it is the case that the loss of access to the single market would affect the business landscape, and would likely lead to significant disruptions in the business model of some companies.”
But while it’s not necessarily a foregone conclusion that Brexit would be a major cause of economic disruption, the institute’s report suggests that governments should consider “rethinking the way we think about technology.”
The report states that the British government should be focused on building a “better future for the UK economy.”
It says that businesses need to focus on “developing the right skills for the 21st century economy.”
But it also says that a “complete re-orientation” should be undertaken.
The UK is already at a point where it’s no longer able to compete economically with the likes of Germany, France, and the United States.
As a result, it needs to create new jobs to fill the gap and it should focus on boosting productivity and innovation in the sector.
IEEE president Peter Thorne told CNNMoney that there’s an urgent need to develop “the right skills.”
“We’re not just going to have a technology economy, we’re going to need a business economy.
We need to ensure that we have a new set of skills that are being created in the UK,” he said.
“I think it’s absolutely vital that we take advantage of all the opportunities that we’re given in the coming years, whether it’s technology innovation or creating new jobs.”
Thorne said the government should also focus on improving public infrastructure, including the rail network, roads, and ports.
He also said it’s important to look at ways to get technology into more areas that aren’t currently covered by government subsidies.
“I think the Government should look at getting a bit more into this area because it will help us with the job market,” he added.
“And that’s one of the things that we really need to do is get more of our infrastructure back on the rails and back into the business of generating economic activity.
That’s why we’ve been focusing on this.
That was one of my main recommendations in the report.”
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