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Tech City Futures report: Silicon Roundabout growth stunted by talent drought, lack of capital

Digital Shoreditch 2013 is now in full-flow over at Shoreditch Town Hall, following Hackney councillor Guy Nicholson's opening keynote, which centred on the future of Tech City and the UK's "economy of tomorrow."

Among the various panel discussions, workshops, and talks that make up Digital Shoreditch, the event is also playing host to a number of intriguing announcements, the first of which was the release of the Tech City Futures report.

Compiled by research specialist GfK in collaboration with TechCityInsider, the study offers an important glimpse into the thoughts and opinions of Silicon Roundabout decision-makers, and draws attention to a number of the issues affecting London's Tech City enterprises.

"This report highlights the ecosystem of entrepreneurship and how vitally important it is to have all the elements in place," said Ryan Garner, research director for GfK.

Key findings include a perceived Silicon Roundabout talent drought, with 44 per cent of the Tech City business leaders surveyed saying that finding skilled workers like coders and developers was the biggest challenge facing their organisation. What's more, a whopping 77 per cent of respondents said that this lack of skilled workers was stifling their growth.

Talent retention was also a major problem, according to the Tech City Futures report, with 42 per cent of those questioned saying that they found it difficult to hold on to their best people.

Elsewhere, a third of Silicon Roundabout executives felt that their growth was being impeded by a lack of funding, with a further 29 per cent adding that business expansion opportunities were being missed as a result.

Of the Tech City Futures report, GfK's Garner added: "It's about business leaders with vision and skilled employees to create and bring products and services to market, and investors willing to take risks. 8.3 per cent of Britain's GDP comes from tech, and that is expected to rise to 12 per cent by 2016. Our research shows Tech City is at a tipping point, and hopefully this report will help it find its way in spearheading that economic growth."

Digital Shoreditch is set to run until 31 May and features more than 500 workshops and 20 interactive rooms, as well as a host of networking opportunities, so stay tuned - we'll be bringing you more great developments from Shoreditch Town Hall over the next few days as they occur.