A think tank has slammed the government for training too many "bog-standard" IT staff and not focusing more on producing digital leaders.
In a report published today, the Institute for Public Policy Research North (IPRR) accused the government of being "too detached" from the needs of employers and of failing to address the skills gap in the UK.
Grace Blakeley, report author and researcher at IPPR North, said: "Sadly we're training too few digital leaders and too many bog-standard IT staff, without the proper skills to meet the challenges and opportunities of the digital revolution.
"Instead we need to see many more highly skilled web developers with skills in complex areas such as advanced mathematics to deal with the rise of the robots, and for all of us to have the digital skills to do our jobs - whether that's a small business owner marketing online, or a doctor analysing data from patients' wearable tech.
"We also need to see colleges, councils and businesses taking control of skills strategies. Whitehall policy is just too detached from local job market needs to meet the challenge of the fourth industrial revolution."
The report claims that there is a shortage of skilled workers in roles where a higher education qualification is needed, but claims that there are too many candidates with college-level qualifications applying.
It goes on to declare that the 'northern powerhouse' is at risk of producing "too many sub-par" IT staff and not enough "digital pioneers" - with the current reliance on migrant workers too high, it claimed.
IPPR worked with education sector data company Emsi and analytics software firm Burning Glass to compile the report.
The think tank also claims that a more regional immigration policy is needed post-Brexit, claiming that immigration powers should be devolved to regional authorities.
"As free movement comes to an end, to build a global Britain we have a real opportunity to offer visas for highly skilled digital leaders to power the UK's tech industry as part of a more regional immigration system," it added.