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Last year sees growth in tech job adverts across UK

The technology sector in England and Wales posted more job vacancies in 2021 than the entirety of British businesses did in 2020

The need for technology talent continues to grow year on year, with 12,800 new tech role vacancies advertised in 2021, according to Robert Walters and Vacancysoft.

Research by the recruitment consultancy and data firm revealed a 105% increase in advertised technology roles in England and Wales between 2020 and 2021, more than half of which were from tech companies.  

James Chaplin, CEO at Vacancysoft, said: “The data reflects how demand for innovative tech and digital infrastructure from UK consumers and business soared in 2021 as restrictions still kept people largely at home and working remotely.

“Tech companies in the UK will expect sales, investment and headcount to grow this year. But it looks unlikely that this unprecedented growth in new jobs can be maintained – especially if the industry’s call for the government to provide greater support for R&D, better training and improved access to talent goes unheeded.”

As ever, the search for tech talent is ongoing, with many organisations planning to make hires in roles such as software engineering over the next year.

According to Robert Walters and Vacancysoft, technology, media and telecoms companies saw a large increase in advertised vacancies in 2021, not only producing a 119% year-on-year increase in tech job vacancies in 2021, but also advertising more IT roles across the year than all other British industries did in 2020.

The pandemic forced a large number of people to work from home and technology adoption for both individuals and firms became more important, and in its Technology year in review report, Robert Walters said the large number of advertised roles in tech companies indicates a rise in digital versus bricks-and-mortar – giving the examples of Amazon against other retailers and fintech companies against traditional banks.

While the tech sector had the most advertised vacancies, the biggest growth in advertised tech vacancies was in the consumer goods and services sector, which saw a 121.8% year-on-year increase, possibly because of an online shift in consumer behaviour due to the increased use of digital while in pandemic lockdowns.

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The healthcare sector saw the smallest year-on-year increase in advertised technology vacancies, growing by only 64%.

When it comes to looking for tech talent, companies such as JPMorgan, Sky and Amazon were among the top firms for tech talent adverts – JPMorgan advertised 2,600 new tech jobs in 2021, making it the top tech job advertiser in England and Wales.

Large numbers of people working remotely during the pandemic also saw a move away from the usual London bubble, with people realising there is less of a need to travel into the city to perform their roles.

While many people are using the pandemic as an opportunity to move outside the London bubble, having proved that working remotely is equally as beneficial for businesses as staff being physically present, London is still a hub for tech roles, with tech vacancies in the capital accounting for 47.5% of all new advertised jobs.

Outside London, the South of England accounted for 26% of all advertised IT roles in 2021, and £9bn of investment in European startups went to firms outside London and the South East of England, while Wales saw a 121.8% year-on-year increase in tech hiring.

When it comes to the type of role most advertised in England and Wales in 2021, software developers and engineering specialists were in high demand, as were those in IT support, whereas there was little growth in firms seeking cyber-security talent.

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