There may be a whole load of uncertainty when it comes to where UK tech is headed after Brexit, but new research has revealed that organisations across the UK spent 2016 seeking more IT staff than ever before, with job postings in the sector increasing by 10 per cent on the previous year.
This analysis, coming from global IT industry body CompTIA and using stats from Burning Glass Labour Insights and the ONS, found that throughout more than 1.3 million IT jobs were posted in 2016. That equates to more than 1 in 10 of all UK job adverts. This is a part of an ongoing upwards momentum which has seen the UK tech workforce grow by over 100,000 since 2012.
What also can be seen from the results is just how important tech roles have become across the country. Breaking the postings down further, we can see that 13 per cent of all job postings were IT based in the fourth quarter of 2016, demonstrating the need for qualified technological staff across the working environment.
Many people had been concerned – and still are – that the UK's decision to leave the EU may affect the decisions of companies looking to hire in the UK, with high profile personnel such as the chief executive of the London Stock Exchange warning that Brexit could lead to the loss of 230,000 jobs. However, these employment figures will come as welcome news to both the government and the tech workforce. Of the top 10 UK employers with the most IT job postings in the fourth quarter of 2016, nine were private sector organisations, with over half being companies whose headquarters are outside the UK.
Graham Hunter, VP Certifications, Europe and Middle East at CompTIA, said that he believes the figures are the result of the continued technological innovation businesses are undertaking and highlight the high quality of the UK’s technical capabilities:
“Businesses in the UK continue to become ever more reliant on technology and these results highlight that firms are looking for staff to help them meet IT demands in the 21st century. Most organisations now need tech savvy employees across the workplace and not simply in the IT department, which goes in part to explaining the continued increase in demand.
“It is also positive to see that Brexit fears are not deterring organisations from the UK market. Recent announcements, such as Snapchat basing its international headquarters in the UK and Google saying it will create 3,000 new jobs and a new London headquarters, highlights that the UK is seen by companies as a place of technological excellence. This will ensure that demand for technology focussed staff continues and will help maintain this impressive growth span in jobs that we are seeing.
“We now need to ensure that the nation is producing enough talent with all the skills and capabilities to fill these rolls, in order to continue this trend and demonstrate the UK’s stance as a tech leader,” he said.
Kristian Wright, managing director of Network Operations Centre Inbay and Executive Council Member at CompTIA, added: “The extent to which technology skills underpin today’s business environment comes as no surprise, with the ever-increasing demand for qualified IT staff endorsing CompTIA’s focus on IT education and certification.
"The flip side, however, is that given the wealth of job opportunities out there, SMBs in particular are finding it more difficult to retain skilled staff and attract the new people they need to deliver today’s in-demand services – business continuity and security, for example. This makes it even more important for SMBs to develop current staff using the training and certification programs available through CompTIA, and by ensuring their continuous development, makes it less likely that they will lose highly skilled resources.”