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England – Thousands of unfilled jobs in ‘Tech City’ highlights skills shortage

15 November 2013

There are more than 4,700 unfilled jobs in East London's start-up Mecca; Tech City, highlighting the problems new firms are facing when looking for talented staff, reports V3.co.uk. The number of job openings have increased by +44% compared with last year.

While the number of positions is good news for graduates from technology-based courses, for businesses it is a significant challenge to hire staff with the necessary skills. Furthermore, start-ups are not just competing among themselves to find and retain talent, they must also compete with London's huge financial and retail companies.

James Haycock, co-founder and managing director of East London-based product development firm Adaptive Lab told V3 that his firm is constantly hiring in order to keep up. "It's competitive. One hundred yards down the road you've got banks which are paying +50% more, and there's actually not that many people who are great. There are smart people who have come out of university but they haven't got commercial experience, and there are people who are good but haven't been using best practices."

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, added: "Technology is actually one of the least competitive job sectors in the UK according to Adzuna's data, with far more jobs available than applicants. The problem lies in the graduate IT market. British employers are often looking for candidates with specific coding skillsets; such as SQL, Ruby, HTML, Python, and are hesitant to take on new graduates without work experience in these areas.”

Mr Hunter did however maintain that the news also shows UK tech is going through a boom phase, demonstrating the strength of the government's Tech City backing.

Nonetheless, Tech City acts as a good barometer for the tech industry as a whole, and reflects the need for businesses to take on technology apprentices, as well as grassroots-level computing education.

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