Post-pandemic surge in UK tech vacancies

An unprecedented 132,000 tech vacancies in Britain were recorded in one week last month, according to an analysis carried out for the government's Digital Economy Council.

The report, compiled by jobs search engine Adzuna and tech intelligence company Dealroom, found that hiring in the digital tech sector had surged past pre-pandemic levels with vacancies - which dipped to 43,490 a year ago - now running at their highest level since 2016.Since February, Adzuna has consistently carried more than 100,000 tech vacancies per week. Tech and IT-related job vacancies currently make up 12 per cent of all open UK vacancies, boosted significantly by the demand for remote workers, said Adzuna.The report said the growth in IT and digital job vacancies reflected the continuing health of the UK tech sector, which saw UK tech companies raising £48 billion in venture capital funding between 2015-20.Additionally, the UK has created 96 unicorn tech companies, which are now worth a collective £333 billion. There are also 139 companies on the path to unicorn status (each worth at least $250 million), accounting for a third of the next-generation of tech unicorns in Europe.Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “These new figures show our booming tech sector is helping the UK build back better, bringing well-paid jobs and exciting opportunities to people up and down the country.“We’re investing heavily in digital infrastructure and skills to help create a golden age for UK tech and help this vibrant industry soar to even further heights.”The report also found that English regions were now beginning to challenge the tech sector dominance of London and the South East, although the capital still boasts the highest number of IT vacancies – 43,529.However, the report said that the sharp increase in the availability of remote working means that many roles based in the South East can effectively be carried out from anywhere in the UK.It added: "Whilst the South East is still leading when it comes to tech jobs, regions such as the North West and West Midlands are also seeing steady expansion of their tech and IT sectors."After London and SE England, the North West has the third highest number of IT job vacancies by region and Manchester has the highest number of IT vacancies outside of London (6,260), with 18.4 per cent of all available jobs in the city now being in tech.Birmingham comes next in the IT vacancies list (3,235), representing 15.5 per cent of all open job roles in the city. Tech workers in the West Midlands can command considerably higher salaries than the norm, with the average advertised IT salary at £47,664 compared to an overall regional average of £32,386.The report found the most in-demand tech roles at companies across the UK were for  software developers, web designers, and data analysts. In April alone, there were nearly 10,000 vacancies for software developers compared to 5,630 at the same time last year. Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, said: “UK hiring has strongly recovered, with advertised vacancies back to the levels we saw before the Covid-19 pandemic."The tech industry, in particular, is surging ahead, with over 100,000 tech vacancies available every week since February. Confidence is spreading out across the UK’s regions, with Manchester and Birmingham in particular reporting strong hiring.”Yoram Wijngaarde, founder and CEO at Dealroom, added: “It’s never been clearer that Europe’s startups are a powerful driver of job growth in our economies. Startup hiring remained resilient, and even accelerated in many places, through the height of the pandemic."Now, with record levels of funding being raised in the UK and the rest of Europe in 2021, scaling startups have received a big confidence boost to invest in talent.”

Read more news and views from David Sapsted.

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