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North of UK sees biggest increase in tech skills

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The North of England is seeing a faster expansion of tech skills than London and the South, says the latest UK Tech Talent Tracker from Accenture.

On average, the research found that the tech talent pool has grown by 15% in northern cities over the last year – in contrast to just an average 9% growth in the south over the same period. Talent in cities across Scotland and Wales has also grown on average by 5% and 9%, respectively.  

Over the past 12 months, Manchester saw the biggest increase in tech skills at 25%, driven by a 93% rise in the number of cyber security professionals now based in the city. Liverpool saw its biggest jump in people with blockchain skills, while artificial intelligence professionals led the way in Newcastle.

While London still contains the most tech professionals in the UK, it saw only 2% growth in overall talent over the year, with a decline of 6% in the number of people with technology skills in London over the last six months.

With 68,000 open technology roles within London, demand has increased by 89% from last year. However, the findings show there is potential for cities outside of the capital to become technology hubs in the future, with growth in demand increasing in Manchester (234%), Birmingham (385%) and Oxford (264%).

Overall, the findings suggest demand for technology professionals has increased in every region across the UK from last year. 

Developed by Accenture Research, the UK Tech Talent Tracker analyses data from LinkedIn’s Professional Network, assessing skills of both existing roles and open positions. The tracker looks at nine technologies, including data analytics, artificial intelligence, extended reality, blockchain, quantum computing, cyber security, robotics, cloud computing, and ethical/responsible technology.

Accenture’s Technology Lead in the UK & Ireland, Shaheen Sayed, said, “The technology sector has a vital role to play in rebalancing the British economy and it’s extremely encouraging to see the spread of technology skills as the job market bounces back from the pandemic. With more robotics and AI fuelling our industries, new technology and software engineering skills are required in every corner of the country. London’s dominance as a centre of technology talent remains, but with growth in skills no longer being so concentrated in the South, it does indicate we are edging closer to closing the technology skills gap that has been historically prevalent in the UK.” 

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