Regions take chunk out of London's pay differential

IT salaries in the regions are catching up with those for posts in London, according to research by IT recruitment consultancy ReThink Recruitment.

IT salaries in the regions are catching up with those for posts in London, according to research by IT recruitment consultancy ReThink Recruitment.

Based on figures from sector skills council E-Skills UK, ReThink said the average IT salary in the regions was 82% of the average in London. IT professionals outside the capital earned an average of £34,736, compared with £42,588 in London.

ReThink managing director Jon Butterfield said, "The two-tier market for IT jobs, which mirrored the traditional North/South divide, is fast disappearing.

"The North is benefiting from rapid growth in back-office and retail financial services jobs, and is becoming a choice outsourcing destination for organisations relocating non-core functions to lower-cost areas, but who want to retain a presence in the UK."

Skills shortages in the regions have forced employers to increase IT salaries. Butterfield said that rapid expansion by high-tech companies was causing the regional skills shortages.

He added that some salaries had been raised with the goal of targeting IT professionals in London. Companies have had to attract people from London because regional job markets cannot always meet the demand for new staff.

The number of IT professionals in Manchester has risen because the Bank of New York and the Royal Bank of Scotland have both expanded their operations in the city. The BBC is also relocating five of its departments to Salford, which is near Manchester.

Butterfield said, "The cost of doing business in the capital is high and technology-utilising companies that are not constrained by location are asking whether they really need to be there."

The South West has benefited from a 75% improvement in annual turnover in the technology sector since 1998. IT turnover in London grew by 30% over the same period.

But London continues to monopolise the best-paying jobs in IT. The City, London's financial heart, is home to most of the top jobs, especially roles that are close to the front-office in industries such as hedge funds, management consultancy and the Lloyd's insurance market.

SSL/Computer Weekly salary survey

What IT staff really want

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