UK tech talent shifts from London to other cities

The number of professionals with technology skills is expanding at a faster pace in the North of England than in London and the South of England, as demand for technology talent increases around the country, according to the latest U.K. Tech Talent Tracker from Accenture. The tracker, which analyses LinkedIn’s Professional Network data, finds that the pool of technology talent in cities in the North of England has grown on average by 15 percent in the last year, outpacing southern cities that grew on average at 9 percent. Technology talent in cities across Scotland and Wales has grown on average by 5 percent and 9 percent respectively. 

Manchester experienced the highest level of growth in technology talent, at 25 percent, during the same period, which was predominantly driven by a 93 percent increase in the number of cyber security professionals now based in the city. As demand increases for emerging technology skills within businesses and investments pour into start-ups, Liverpool saw the biggest increase in people with blockchain skills (48 percent), and Newcastle saw a jump in artificial intelligence professionals (up 40 percent) over the past 12 months.

While London contains the most technology professionals in the U.K., the capital reported just 2 percent growth in overall technology talent over the year. The findings show the number of people with technology skills in London declined by 6 percent in the last six months – the first time the capital has seen a dip since the start of the pandemic.

Accenture’s Technology Lead in the U.K. & Ireland, Shaheen Sayed, said, “The technology sector has a vital role to play in rebalancing the British economy and it’s extremely encouraging to see the spread of technology skills as the job market bounces back from the pandemic. With more robotics and AI fuelling our industries, new technology and software engineering skills are required in every corner of the country. London’s dominance as a centre of technology talent remains, but with growth in skills no longer being so concentrated in the South, it does indicate we are edging closer to closing the technology skills gap that has been historically prevalent in the U.K.”


U.K. city rankings – growth in technology talent 

City Growth of technology professionals (during Jan 2021-2022)
Manchester 25 percent
Oxford 24 percent
Liverpool 17 percent
Newcastle 13 percent
Cardiff 9 percent
Birmingham 9 percent
Glasgow 6 percent
Bristol 5 percent
Edinburgh 3 percent
Leeds 3 percent
London 2 percent
Cambridge 0.2 percent
Brighton -0.02 percent


Demand for technology roles shifts outside of the capital

The findings suggest that demand for technology professionals has increased in every region across the U.K from last year, as the U.K.’s technology jobs market continues to recover from the pandemic.

London has maintained the lion’s share of the U.K.’s open technology roles, at 68,000, with demand increasing by 89 percent from last year. However, the findings show there is sizeable potential for cities outside of the capital to become technology hubs in the future, with growth in demand increasing in Manchester (234 percent), Birmingham (385 percent) and Oxford (264 percent).