The technology sector is becoming one of the biggest employers in the UK – with more than 10% of the working population in some areas now employed in the industry, new figures claim.
Research from the Government’s Digital Economy Council carried out by Tech Nation suggests that around 1.7 million jobs in the tech sector were advertised in 2018 across the UK’s 12 biggest tech regions.
It adds that in five cities – Oxford, Cambridge, Reading, Belfast and Newcastle – more than 10% of the population are now employed in the digital technology sector.
In Cambridge, half the population now work in the sector, while a third of the population in Reading do so.
The research claims that as of 2018, more than 2.1 million people now work in the tech industry in the UK.
Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright said the Government would continue to invest in the tech sector.
“We are one of the best places in the world to start and grow a tech business and this new data shows the success is bringing good jobs and helping spread prosperity across the country,” he said.
“We are determined to seize the future opportunities for technology to improve people’s lives by investing heavily to boost the nation’s digital skills.
“Alongside the fantastic talent coming from our world-leading universities, we have revamped the computer science curriculum, announced new funding to support thousands of AI and data science training courses, are rolling out a new National Retraining Scheme, and are investing £84 million in a new centre for computing education led by tech experts.”
On Monday, Prime Minister Theresa May announced Government funding for up to 2,500 places on new conversion degree courses in artificial intelligence and data science, as well as 1,000 new scholarships for people from underrepresented groups, as part of plans to improve the skills of UK workers.
Tech Nation chief executive Gerard Grech said: “With over 2.1 million people working in digital technology in 2018, the tech economy is bigger than sectors like hospitality and construction.
“However, increasingly, those lines are getting blurred, with technology jobs crossing over into the mainstream sectors like financial services and health, helping them evolve and stay competitive and productive.
“As countries transition to network-based economies in a globalised future, the need for tech jobs and skills is reaching a generational high point, which is why this report is so timely and important in highlighting how the demand for tech skills continues to evolve and grow over time across the UK.”