-First Tech City board member aims to address IT skills shortage in the UK-

14 October 2014, London - London First, the not-for-profit organization, is stepping up its attempts to make London the business, innovation, and technology capital of Europe by appointing entrepreneur Barrie Hadfield, founder and CTO of collaboration application provider, Workshare, to its board.

The move comes as the economic growth of the tech sector continues to soar in the capital and as a result, the need for greater IT skills becomes increasingly critical.

Barrie commented, “My appointment highlights the significance of the tech sector to the capital. We have witnessed a tech boom over the last few years and this is providing a great deal of opportunity for startups and enterprises alike. It’s important that the tech community works together to build upon the great infrastructure London offers to businesses and, together, addresses the IT skills shortage to increase opportunity for young people and businesses within the capital.

“London First is playing a leading role in enabling this. I’m delighted to be joining the Board and look forward to strengthening the voice of the technology sector in this role for London First.”

London First will be raising awareness of the tech sector and IT skills through Skills London 2014, the capital’s biggest jobs and careers event for young people in November. Research by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills found that more than one in five vacancies is down to a poor skills base, while 146,200 job vacancies (22%) last year went unfilled due to inadequate skills. Skills London will showcase the technology sector, give young people a better understanding of the careers they could go into, and advise new workers on how to go about getting experience in the sector.

Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First commented, “We are delighted to welcome Barrie to the London First Board. His vast experience of 20 years working in the technology sector and being an entrepreneur will be of enormous benefit to us in keeping London as the best place in the world to do business.”

For more information about London First, please visit: http://londonfirst.co.uk/