Demand for tech skills arises in Edinburgh and Glasgow but Scotland lags other parts of UK


The latest UK Tech Talent Tracker from IT services group Accenture found that demand for technology professionals has increased in every region across the UK over the last 12 months, as the tech jobs market recovers from the pandemic.

London continues to have the lion’s share of the UK’s open technology roles, at 68,000, with demand increasing by 89 per cent from a year earlier.

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However, the findings show there is a sizeable potential for cities outside London to become technology hubs in the future, with growth in demand in Scotland rising substantially.

Michelle Hawkins, managing director for Accenture Scotland: ‘Scotland needs to work hard to compete with other fast-growing UK regions.’

Edinburgh has some 11,200 open technology roles, according to the report, up five-fold in 12 months, while Glasgow is catching up rapidly, with demand jumping seven-fold to about 10,100 roles.

The research also showed slower growth in the number of people with technology skills in Scottish cities compared with other UK regions outside London. Glasgow experienced Scotland’s highest growth in tech professionals, up 6 per cent in the past year, while Edinburgh witnessed 3 per cent growth.

This compares with stronger growth in other UK cities, including Manchester (up 25 per cent), Oxford (up 24 per cent) and Cardiff (up 9 per cent).

Michelle Hawkins, managing director for Accenture Scotland, said: “The research shows that Glasgow and Edinburgh are competing strongly for a share of UK-wide investment in new technology roles as the job market bounces back from the pandemic.

“This is encouraging, but as organizations that have invested in technology during the pandemic now look for the best pools of talented professionals with the right tech and software engineering skills, Scotland needs to work hard to compete with other fast-growing UK regions.”

As UK-wide demand increases for emerging technology in business and investment pours into start-ups, Glasgow saw particularly strong growth for people with blockchain skills (up 33 per cent), artificial intelligence (29 per cent) and data analytics (17 per cent). ).

Edinburgh’s talent pool was boosted by strong growth in blockchain (27 per cent) and AI (26 per cent), as well as quantum computing (20 per cent).

Hawkins added: “A change in lifestyles and greater flexibility has allowed many businesses across the country to discover exciting new pools of technology talent.

“It’s positive that Scottish cities are attracting new talent in areas like blockchain and AI, but we also need to ensure that our own schools, colleges and universities are focused on producing the next generation of technology professionals.”

A report earlier this week revealed that Edinburgh’s technology sector has the highest salaries outside of London with the Scottish capital and Glasgow also ranked as two of the UK’s most attractive cities for tech investment.

Companies from Edinburgh and Glasgow have raised a combined £115 million of investment so far in 2022, according to figures calculated by Dealroom and analyzed for the UK’s Digital Economy Council.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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