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Competition in the Technology Jobs Market in the UK
November 20, 2023
The UK consistently remains one of the most popular destinations for people looking to work abroad. Despite fears of a possible reduction in immigration after Brexit, the UK continues to attract a significant flow of overseas workers. This is an ongoing trend, especially in the UK’s technology-related occupations.
This claim is supported by statistics presented by Indeed during a roundtable discussion held in London. According to the research, the interest of foreigners in job opportunities in the UK is high. Analysts Darina Jiang and Alexander Groutides found that job searches in the UK from people in non-EU countries exceeded those from EU countries. This article explores the competitive UK job market, particularly in the technology industry. You’ll learn about the IT sector development statistics, emerging trends, and prospects.
Strong Demand in the UK Technology Sector
A notable trend in the UK is the significant surge in interest in employment from non-UK residents who target the technology sector. It has increased by 146 per cent. Starting from a modest 2.2 per cent during the pandemic low in April 2021, the rate had reached 5.5 per cent by June 2023. A large proportion was for software positions, accounting for 7 per cent of all overseas job search enquiries.
In 2022, the UK’s net migration balance reached 606,000 people: around 1.2 million arrivals and 557,000 departures, mostly from countries outside the European Union. A considerable proportion of these potential workers come from countries such as Nigeria, South Africa, and India. Meanwhile, Ukrainian refugees also make a significant contribution to the pool of jobseekers in the UK.
At the same time, while the availability of job vacancies has seen a decrease, the number of jobseekers has risen by 20 per cent. This inevitably leads to intensified competition for available candidates.
Resilience to External Pressures and Industry Development
Amid global economic difficulties, including reduced investments and the slowdown of start-up growth, the UK technology sector has demonstrated remarkable resilience. In 2022, the UK tech sector retained its #1 spot in Europe and #3 in the world, with a combined market value of $1 trillion and employing millions of people across the country.
According to CompTIA, more than two million people worked in the UK technology sector in 2022, generating £82.6bn for the UK economy. The number of jobs in the technology sector is expected to grow even further, with 17,000 new positions predicted in 2023.
While the US tech sector faces substantial layoffs, the UK’s tech industry continues to flourish. This resilience is sustained by an ongoing skills gap — the demand for professionals in areas such as cloud, quantum computing, blockchain, and robotics is consistently high.
In addition, the shift to remote work globally has prompted companies to re-evaluate their workforce needs, providing opportunities for international talent to contribute remotely and further fuel the job market in the UK.
Economic Contribution and Government Support
To emphasise, the value of the UK’s technology ecosystem reached almost $1 trillion last year, securing its position as a global leader. This is an exponential increase from a decade ago. The contribution of the tech sector to the UK economy is estimated to hit £250 billion in 2024. The employment landscape in the tech industry looks promising, with employment growth outpacing other industries.
The UK government’s commitment to developing digital skills is evident in its investment in training initiatives. They are designed to ensure the country is competitive and attractive to digital-savvy job seekers. For example, the government has announced plans to recruit 2,500 ambitious tech talents into digital roles by June 2025 through new apprenticeship and early talent programmes. This initiative aims to address the demand for roles such as cybersecurity technologists and software developers.
The Central Digital and Data Office has also committed to attracting new recruits to digital and technology jobs. The target is that at least 6 per cent of the total Civil Service workforce have technology-related professions. Overall, the initiatives reflect the government’s proactive approach to addressing the digital skills shortage and nurturing a workforce capable of meeting the needs of the digital economy.
Emerging Trends and Job Opportunities
Current trends shaping the landscape of technology jobs in the UK include remote working, cloud technology, and data-driven decision-making. More specialised positions are expected in the coming years, as well as substantial investment in emerging technologies. The labour market is dynamic, with the diversity of vacancies on offer going beyond traditional technical positions to encompass a variety of non-tech opportunities within the sector.
In-Demand Tech Roles
The UK is the fastest-developing European nation in terms of digitalisation, according to recent data from Deloitte. This leads to a surge in tech job opportunities. The most in-demand tech roles in 2023 include:
- Software development specialists
- Cybersecurity specialists
- Cloud architects
- .Net developers
- C# developers
- AI and Machine Learning specialists
These are some of the roles that will be growing in 2023. The development of data science and machine learning requires a constant flow of skilled workers, and the UK government, together with major companies, is committed to meeting this demand. With technology salaries exceeding those in other industries, it’s easy to understand the aspirations of jobseekers to enter this particular field.
Global Talent Acquisition
The growth of the UK technology sector is partly fuelled by skilled immigrants who bring expertise and innovation. With initiatives such as the Skilled Worker Visa and the Global Talent (IT) Visa, the UK can attract and retain the best talent from around the world. This will guarantee that the UK has a diverse and skilled workforce that propels the tech industry forward.
The Future of Tech Firms
The value of engaging with the next generation of tech specialists cannot be overemphasised. Generation Z, who are entering the workplace with innate digital skills, represent a crucial talent pool for the future of UK technology. Government programmes offer companies the opportunity to tap into this potential and build a diverse and innovative workforce.
The UK technology sector will continue to be an important driver of economic growth and job creation well into the future. It is expected to evolve in line with changing consumer and business demand, with the most successful start-ups directly solving customer problems, reducing the cost of living, and helping in areas such as debt repayment, mortgage lending and tax services.
Supporting FinTech Innovation: Payrow’s Role in the UK’s Technological Expansion
Given the current UK’s evolving technology landscape, Payrow wants to improve the business processes for those firms that operate in the tech field and beyond. It stands out as a key player in FinTech innovation. Based in London, Payrow supports the development of technology in the country by providing start-ups with the tools they need to effectively integrate financial products.
For international jobseekers, Payrow’s opportunities are the career growth potential in the UK’s dynamic technology sector. We are committed to driving technological progress and creating a supportive environment for both companies and professionals looking to build the FinTech of tomorrow.
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