Given the reverence held for east London’s entrepreneurial scene, it’s easy to imagine that the destiny of the UK’s digital start-ups hangs solely on Shoreditch. But nothing could be further from the truth; there is no shortage of talented tech companies centred in Britain’s regional cities and it seems they are outstripping their London rivals in terms of growth. New research has revealed that the number of jobs listed in tech hubs outside of London has increased over the last quarter – despite a significant fall in hiring in the capital.
In its latest Tech Cities Job Watch, Experis has revealed that the number of tech jobs advertised in the major hubs outside London – Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne – has grown by 3%. Conversely the number of listings in the capital has dropped by 10%, resulting in a 6% net decrease in the number of roles advertised in Q2.
Out of all of the regional hubs, it seems Manchester, Bristol and Leeds have the biggest appetite for tech talent, advertising for 2,323, 1,657 and 1,528 roles respectively. Overall, the UK’s top regional centres of tech sought to fill 16,760 positions and, whilst this falls some way short of London’s 21,627 listings, it demonstrates how our digital prospects rely on far more than just Silicon Roundabout.
But whilst it’s great news that cities outside of the capital are holding their own in the hiring stakes, what lays behind the overall recruitment slowdown in the tech sector? Geoff Smith managing director of Experis Europe, feels that pre-election jitters caused some businesses to hold back on hiring.
“During this [quarter], there was a strong air of pre-election trepidation which saw businesses hold back from making long-term decisions around hiring,” he said. “In what is traditionally one of the busiest quarters of the year, the number of roles advertised notably slowed-down. We have since seen post-election confidence return, with hiring demand quickly springing back to life. The new Conservative government promises to ‘bring Britain a brighter future’ backed by an ambitious digital agenda. All that remains to be seen now is how the new government delivers the ‘British technology revolution’ it has promised.”
Hopefully start-ups will soon be capitalising on the increased confidence post-election and cities will see a boost in hiring regardless of location.