It was recently announced that the UK’s tech industry is now worth $1 trillion, celebrating over 100 unicorns across the UK, 13 decacorns each worth over $10 billion, and 14 companies each worth between $5 billion – $10 billion.
The latest findings reveal that this vastly growing industry is now worth more than double that of Germany’s, and almost five times larger than France and Sweden. But as UK tech rises, do we have the skilled people to keep up with the demand and what is the true value of UK tech?
The rise in value for the UK tech sector can be argued to have come from a wave of tech adoption that emerged from the pandemic including health and educational apps and an acceleration in video calling and online retailing. The UK is quickly becoming one of the best places to found, grow or float a tech business. This is for both early-stage start-ups or Global innovators.
A recent analysis of the job market shows that there was a 50% rise in overall UK tech job vacancies advertised in 2021 compared to 2020. Since February 2021, there have been consistently over 100,000 tech job vacancies per week advertised on Adzuna.
However, it is no secret there is a big concern about hiring in the UK. From speaking to tech leaders, businesses were initially looking to raise developers’ salaries by up to 20% to create attractive packages as a result of receiving funding. But what happens when the funding runs out and what about businesses that can’t find the funding?
The scale of need
There has been an increase in technology talent in the north of England, increasing by around 15% by 2021. The south has also grown by 9%, highlighting the geographical differences in growth in the UK. Manchester has experienced the highest level of growth in technology talent, resulting in an accelerated need for cyber security professionals now based in the northern city. Interestingly, Liverpool has seen the biggest increase in people with blockchain skills, an increasing trend we are seeing in the fast-growing technology world.
It is not only technology companies that need digital, computing and technology skills. From the largest corporation to the smallest businesses, the demand for digital, computing and technology skills is increasing. These skills are particularly essential for scale-up businesses, which use technology extensively to fuel their rapid growth. But with 7 in 10 scaleups saying access to talent is a key barrier to growth, businesses will have to look elsewhere to fill their growing number of seat requirements.
An opportunity to scale
UK businesses understand having technical and digital skills is now a baseline requirement for a number of roles to keep up with the demand of the rapidly growing workplace. With 66% of scaleups citing technical skills as the key issue right now and a McKinsey survey showing that 87% of organisations are already experiencing a talent shortage, where do businesses look next?
The main trend of the pandemic saw businesses shift to remote working, but companies that were already outsourcing their developer talent were ahead of the trend, having remote working as part of their day to day working life long before COVID. Businesses are increasingly choosing to work with a nearshore partner who can help fulfil their requirements and provide a lead of tech skills to allow their businesses to scale, further increasing the value of tech business in the UK.
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