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Tech workers seek alternative employment to avoid redundancy

With rumours of mass redundancies rife in the IT sector, many tech workers are applying for other roles rather than risk becoming unemployed

As the economic climate continues to be difficult, many in the technology sector are suspecting redundancies, according to IT jobs portal CWJobs.

When it asked 2,000 tech workers in the UK about their 2023 plans, CWJobs found 53% were already applying for new jobs in case their current position gets the chop.

“Tech workers are showing signs of uncertainty around job security – likely triggered by what they are reading in the news and on social media,” said Dominic Harvey, director at CWJobs. “So, employers need to go the extra mile to reassure them and build a strong sense of security in their current role and long-term career prospects. This could be key to attracting and retaining much-needed talent over the coming months and years.”

With a large number of young people leaving the technology sector for various reasons, and the phrases “the great resignation” and “quiet quitting” gaining traction over the past year, organisations need to focus on ways to draw in new talent and keep the talent they already have.

Until recently, a lack of skilled workers, increased use of technology and desperate employers put the power in the hands of jobseekers. But this is changing, with some suggesting the favour will shift towards employers this year. The recession has already seen high-profile tech companies such as Meta, Twitter, Microsoft and Amazon cut jobs in the thousands.

When looking at redundancy concerns, CWJobs also looked at data from the Office for National Statistics, which suggests only 1.2% of firms in the “information and communications” sector are planning to let people go over the next three months – less than the average across the UK.

Whether a looming threat or just rumours, the likelihood of employees having a “plan B” varies depending on location and age. Some 63% of respondents in London said they were applying for new jobs to protect their future, which is higher than the average.

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Younger people are also more likely to take action to avoid being left without a job, with 62% of tech employees between the ages of 18 and 24 applying for new roles in case of redundancy, compared with 24% of those aged 55 and over.

A large number of digital leaders in the UK feel a lack of skilled talent is stopping them from progressing on projects, with increased competition among firms when it comes to securing the best people for the job.

CWJobs noted the final quarter of 2022 saw the number of available tech jobs increase to 502,151 in the UK, an increase of 11% when compared with the same period in 2019.

With many companies still looking for skilled workers, Harvey pointed out that firms should also be doing what they can to make current employees feel valued – or risk losing them.

“The jobs market remains highly competitive, so if employees or candidates are made to feel insecure or uncertain at any stage, from the job advert through to employment, they will find plenty of opportunities elsewhere,” he said. “Employers need to address how skilled workers are feeling and take proactive steps to build trust.”

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