Posted on August 22, 2019 by staff

Demand for tech skills could widen ‘North-South divide’


New analysis of the UK’s jobs market suggests 37 per cent of UK professionals cite their current location as London, higher than the combined number of jobs in emerging tech available in ten other UK cities including Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol and Liverpool.

Multinational professional services company Accenture collected the data from 422,000 UK-based professionals with skills in emerging technologies such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, blockchain, extended reality and quantum computing.

Accenture said that as tech salaries are on average 10 per cent higher than other roles, the concentration of tech professionals in London threatens to further widen the wealth and skills gap between the South East and the rest of the country.

“London is currently the default choice for many, but we want to prove that the capital is far from the only option,” said Zahra Bahrololoumi, head of Accenture Technology in the UK & Ireland.

“Availability of talent is one of the biggest factors in establishing a successful technology business.

“We’ve found that there’s so much of this talent in other cities, but it’s being overlooked. Once businesses realise the potential and bring more opportunities to people in other cities, we can create a tech economy that benefits the entire country, rather than just London.”

Accenture’s research suggests that both Manchester and Bristol have an existing supply of talent suitable for jobs within data analytics, artificial intelligence, blockchain, AR and VR, and quantum computing.

It also reports that certain regions are emerging as specialist technology hubs.

Chris Gray, managing director Accenture North West added: “The UK’s technology sector is currently growing one-and-a-half times faster than other industries, so there’s a huge opportunity to close the divide.

“We have ourselves set up many regional hubs, with Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh amongst the biggest.

“These findings should be a signal for both tech professionals and companies alike that there are exciting opportunities ahead.”