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UK – IT sector out of balance

22 November 2012

The dominance of London as the country’s leading creator of technology jobs risks creating a dearth of technology skills in other UK regions. Which is contributing to over half of hiring managers in Scotland, Midlands and Northern UK regions being unable to fill essential positions; a much higher proportion than anywhere else in the UK according to a new survey from Harvey Nash.

Over one third (34 per cent) of technology professionals are prepared to relocate to London from another UK region for the right career move, whilst on average only half of that proportion (17 per cent) are prepared to relocate to Scotland, the Midlands and the Northern regions of the UK for a similar opportunity 

Matt Smith, Managing Director, Harvey Nash UK Regions said: “Technology innovation has been a leading component of the emerging UK economic recovery and while recognising London is a driving force of the country’s global brand they must also be very careful not to limit the potential of businesses in other UK regions to innovate their way to growth.”

The Harvey Nash Technology survey polled the opinions of 1,555 technology experts across the UK and Ireland. Other key findings include: 
Job hunting on the increase: Half (48 per cent) of technologists in UK and Ireland are looking to change jobs in next 12 months. The average salary is £60,398 / €74,731 per year.

Out of the bunker: technology professionals are becoming more important, but more mainstream: Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) of technology experts across UK and Ireland believe they are more important to their organisation than five years ago, but alongside their increased responsibility and influence the typical technology expert has also become less likely to be rewarded for the unique nature of their role (56 per cent reported this) and less of a ‘hero in adversity’ (66 per cent reported so).

Lack of diversity risks further growth in innovation. 85.9 per cent of respondents to the survey were male, and 47 per cent of all respondents reported less diverse technology teams where they work compared to five years ago. Additionally, it appears as if women earn up to 7.3 per cent less than men in similar technology roles.

Technologists – the new decathletes: 67 per cent of technology experts believe they are more multi-skilled than they were five years ago, reflecting the growth in the use and importance of multiple technologies to build systems. Technologists are also becoming more entrepreneurial, with over half (55 per cent) currently or previously involved in using their technology skills in a start up.

Commenting on the results, Albert Ellis, CEO of Harvey Nash Group plc said: “The UK’s continued growth as a global technology hub is key to their economic recovery, but this survey shows the sector is increasingly out of balance. Regional disparities in skills availability, and a lack of diversity are both key factors that could limit the sector’s future development.”

Ellis concluded: “We must push for advancements in the technology education and skilling of young people; we must also promote inclusiveness to attract a larger pool of talent and develop an awareness around pay parity. We know that diverse team contribute directly to building an innovative culture. It’s of great concern that so few women and candidates from an ethnic minority background are choosing to work in Technology and build their career in the sector. We know these roles are centrally important to their future economic prosperity. We need the very best talent to power the recovery.”


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