Industry data from jobsite Indeed reveals that demand is consistently outstripping supply for IT roles in the UK. Despite the number of job postings in this sector having declined by 24% over the last four years, jobseeker searches have soared by 60% in the same period.
The rise of regional tech hubs
London and Manchester have remained the UK’s key hubs for IT jobseekers since 2012. However, Newcastle upon Tyne entered the top ten search hubs in January 2014 and is joined, and beaten, by Cambridge in January 2015. Searches in Cambridge fell off by 20% in February this year suggesting that the two Oscar-nominated films ‘The Imitation Game’ and ‘The Theory of Everything’ – both featuring prominent Cambridge-based scientists, may have spurred local jobseekers to investigate IT roles.
This regional boost was reflected in George Osborne’s final pre-election Budget, as he announced increased funding to support regional tech hubs in a bid to spur the growth of digital businesses outside of London.
Tara Sinclair, chief economist at Indeed, comments, “Initiatives such as the Northern Powerhouse are a step in the right direction. Developing better infrastructure outside of London will open up immediate job opportunities in the Northern regions and develop regional employment hubs.
Businesses could also benefit from harnessing the potential for remote working. Investing in technology and tools that enable remote working for employees in weaker labour markets than London would give national productivity a boost across the board. Flexible work is the most searched-for category in the UK on job site Indeed, demonstrating a strong appetite for alternative working arrangements.”
Failure to budget for upcoming skills gap?
Following the Chancellor’s speech, a number of businesses have been vocal in their criticism that the technology and digital skills gap was not proactively addressed. Indeed’s analysis of jobseeker search patterns across three generations – Millennials (aged 21-30), Generation X (aged 31-50) and Baby Boomers (aged 51-70) – reveals that we may well be facing a skills shortage in this area.
Jobs in the Computing and Mathematical field feature in the top search terms for Generation X jobseekers (aged 31-50). This may be evidence of the impact of government initiatives launched to boost interest in STEM subjects in the UK, following a dramatic decline in students studying these subjects to A-level in the 1990s. However, there has been a significant drop in the number of 21-30 year olds searching for jobs in the technology sector, raising a warning flag of a future talent shortage
Who’s hiring tech talent?
Today, every organisation is a digital company, creating even more competition for top talent. Indeed’s data highlights that tech and IT vacancies are not limited to traditional ‘tech companies’. The UK companies with the highest number of vacancies related to Computer Science are:
- InterQuest Group
- KPMG UK
- JPMorgan Chase
- Optima Connections Ltd
- British Sky Broadcasting
- Erin Associates Ltd
Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Tester” was the most difficult position for employers to fill in both London and Bristol in 2014
Gerard Murnaghan, VP EMEA, Indeed commented: “It is becoming increasingly clear that London cannot afford to be complacent regarding the pull of the city to attract top talent. Employers looking for skilled tech and IT workers may find themselves needing to spread the recruitment net beyond the traditional London hunting ground.
This increased competition is further fuelled by the type of company that is looking to hire employees with tech and IT skills. Today, every company is a digital company, reflected in the list of firms which shows that banks and consultancies are amongst those with the highest number of vacancies in this area.
It isn’t the first time that our data has revealed a correlation between popular culture and jobseeker patterns. We saw searches for “stockbroker” surge by over 40% in the UK following the DVD release of The Wolf of Wall Street, and have now seen a surge in demand for IT roles in Cambridge, just months after the launch of two Oscar-nominated films – The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game – which featured prominent local scientists.”