London’s tech community has spoken out following Sadiq Khan’s appointment as the city’s new mayor.
With just under 57% of the total vote, Khan beat Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith to City Hall.
Throughout his campaign, Khan had advocated for greater emphasis on STEM subjects as part of his ‘Skills for Londoners’ agenda whilst remaining seemingly committed to small and medium sized businesses.
Here’s what some of London’s tech players had to say about the mayor’s appointment!
A global tech hub
Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates, commented on the news.
This, he said, had been the first election contested since London had established itself as a global tech power.
“All candidates demonstrated their commitment to the [tech] sector by endorsing and debating our manifesto “London’s Digital Future” in February. Sadiq placed a particular emphasis on tech by touring East London soon after receiving his party’s nomination and I was impressed by his commitment to supporting tech as London’s economic engine,” added Shaw.
He then went on to say that Tech London Advocates would welcome a 100 day plan for London tech, including the appointment of a Chief Digital Officer and a comprehensive plan for how the candidate would work within City Hall.
“Tech is the fastest growing sector of London’s economy and this impressive growth is propelling us up the international rankings of global tech cities. The next four years will be crucial in maintaining this momentum and Sadiq can support this by delivering on his commitment to infrastructure investment, a Skills for Londoners Taskforce and affordable rents, “ he added.
Narrowing the skills gap
Charlie Taylor, CEO and founder of Debut, an entry level recruitment platform, said he welcomed Khan’s efforts to narrow the skills gap in the UK talent pool and to increase employment opportunities in the capital.
Despite London becoming one of the world’s leading tech hubs, Taylor said, businesses are being held back by the skills gap in the UK’s talent pool.
Employers, he added, are currently struggling to access talent they need to scale their business.
“Sadiq Khan’s appointment as the new Mayor of London is a welcomed opportunity to remove these barriers and narrow this chasm … His vision is a simple one – to restore opportunity, advance London’s competitiveness as a world-leading city for business and give all Londoners the same opportunities that the city gave him: access to education and a high-skilled job with decent pay, regardless of their background,” Taylor said, adding:
“At Debut, we know that work experience and internships have become vital factors affecting an employer’s decision when it comes to recruiting talent. In particular, we believe Sadiq’s commitment to establishing a tech talent pipeline is to be celebrated. Through the Skills for Londoners taskforce, more young people will be empowered to gain key digital skills, and more apprenticeships created in this sector.”I
Inploi, an on-demand jobs platform for UK hospitality workers, echoed Taylor’s views on Twitter.
@TechCityNews As inploi we’re excited about Khan’s pro-business stance. As a new startup we’re particularly interested in the Skills.. (1/2)
— inploi (@inploime) May 9, 2016
@TechCityNews …for Londoners taskforce. This will ensure that we have greater access to skilled staff as our business grows. (2/2)
— inploi (@inploime) May 9, 2016
‘Commitment to startups’
George Burgess, founder and CEO of Gojimo, also welcomed the mayor’s commitment to startups and his pledge to ensure that young Londoners have the necessary skills to succeed.
“Our city’s tech startups underpin London’s impressive economic success story and it was wonderful to seek Khan’s earnest backing of the business community and his commitment to being London’s most pro-business mayor.
“Combining this with a pledge to provide young people with the tech and business skills needed to excel in our city’s economy played a big role in his popularity among young voters,” he concluded.
Baacco, an online marketplace, also praised Khan’s commitment towards small and medium-sized businesses:
What do you think about Sadiq Khan’s victory? What impact will it have on the capital’s tech sector? Have your say in the comments section below.