Box: Brexit won't impact UK access to tech skills

EMEA chief David Benjamin says that the UK will ‘remain a strong force’

Box's UK chief has said that despite fears, Brexit will not lead to a shortage of skilled tech workers for UK companies to recruit.

With the deadline for Britain's exit from the European Union looming ever closer and the negotiations seemingly no closer to making any progress, many companies have expressed concerns that a 'hard Brexit' (in which the UK severs all ties with EU) could result in a lack of qualified professionals across the country.

These worries have been voiced by the tech industry in particular, which depends on highly-skilled immigrants from across Europe to fill many roles in areas such as software engineering, network administration and operations.

However, David Benjamin - senior vice president and general manager of EMEA for cloud storage firm Box - told Virtual Clouds that while the uncertainty surrounding Brexit is one of the biggest challenges for European businesses, he doesn't agree that there will be a 'brain drain' of tech talent leaving the country.

"I'm going to speak from the heart on this, and I'm going to say no," Benjamin said, when we asked if a lack of tech workers was a potential danger. "I'm working on the basis there that there will be a successful conclusion to our Brexit discussion, and that London and the UK will remain a strong force from a tech perspective, and that we'll work very closely with our European partners as well."

"London is an amazing place, but also Berlin is fantastic, I was in Dublin recently - again, that was absolutely amazing. The great thing for me is that these tech communities work better when they work together, and I expect that to continue."

However, other business leaders have attested to Brexit's negative impact on the UK tech industry. When IT Pro asked HPE boss Meg Whitman whether her firm had experienced any ill-effects of the UK's decision to leave the EU, she told us: "Frankly, there's been a bit of a pause in the decision of UK companies, or multinational companies with operations in the UK, to continue to invest in their IT."

Tech recruitment firm Hired surveyed businesses last year, finding that the UK's skills gap will worsen if the UK can't easily employ talented tech workers from the EU.

Sign up for our free newsletter