Facts About the UK Tech Workforce: Employers Need to Know

The UK tech workforce is growing. Learn some key statistics and facts employers should be aware of regarding tech hiring, trends, economic impact and more.

What Employers Should Know About the UK Tech WorkforceThere are lots of exciting things happening within the UK tech workforce. It’s worthwhile for employers to get an idea of what the UK tech workforce looks like each year. This can help organizations that employ tech workers align with the latest trends.

The tech workforce consists of two key components:

  • Individuals working in technical roles, such as software development and IT support and business professionals employed by tech companies
  • Full-time self-employed technology professionals

For organizations in the UK that employ or plan to employ technology workers, knowledge is power. Read on to learn all about the UK tech workforce.   

The UK Tech Workforce Is Growing

The first thing to understand about the UK tech workforce is that it is growing, although not at breakneck speed. While growth has not been fast, it has been steady. According to the CompTIA State of the Tech Workforce UK 2023 report, the UK tech workforce grew by 75,280 net-new positions since 2017.

In 2022, there were 2,043,622 million workers in the UK tech workforce. This represents a nearly 1% increase over 2021. Sixty-nine percent of net tech employment is in technology occupations. A 1% increase was also estimated for 2023.

Also, 6.3% of the entire UK workforce was comprised of net tech employment in 2022. Projections from Lightcast cited the base of tech occupation employment as approximately 1.41 million by 2030. This includes occupations only.

Employers hold the key to growing the tech workforce. By adding tech jobs, as well as upskilling current employees to fill IT roles, employers can add more professionals to the UK tech workforce. This not only affects individuals, but also the UK economy as a whole.  

The UK Tech Workforce Needs Greater Representation of Minority Groups

Most sectors in most countries experience a struggle to create diversity in workplaces. This is a shame as the benefits of workplace diversity can include increased creativity and problem-solving abilities, a boost in productivity and revenue, and lower rates of staff churn.  

In the UK tech workforce, there is an underrepresentation of minority groups. For example, while women comprise 49% of the UK workforce, they make up just 17% of tech positions. According to an article by Global Resourcing, here are some insights into diversity in the UK tech workforce:

  • Ethnic minorities comprise only 13% of senior tech roles
  • 35% of organizations measure non-binary gender diversity
  • Ethnic minority groups make up one-quarter of all tech workers

The article Diversity in the Tech Industry explains that just 9% of IT specialists in the UK are disabled.

While the UK tech workforce is becoming more diverse, there is still a lot of room for improvement. By understanding what diversity looks like, employers can work to improve it by creating effective diversity and inclusion initiatives and best practices. With time and effort, any organization can build a more inclusive company culture.    

There Are 5 Key Tech Occupation Contributors

Understanding the key tech occupations can help UK employers make informed decisions about how they will upskill their workers to fill in-demand positions within their organizations or create vacant tech roles.

Between 2017 and 2022, the software and custom development sector contributed the most job gains in 2022 (39,355).

Within this timeframe, the predominant tech occupation contributors were:

  • Programmers and software development: +15,444
  • IT specialist managers: +8,491
  • IT operations technicians: +5,526
  • IT technology and telecommunications professionals: +4,588
  • IT technology and telecommunications directors: +4,370

It’s especially important that tech workers be aware of these occupations so they can seek IT certifications that would qualify them for these jobs. Employers can play a role in educating tech workers about what tech occupations are trending in the UK.

The UK Tech Industry Is Positively Impacting the Economy

Filled tech jobs mean a better UK economy. Currently, the UK tech industry has contributed £82.6 billion to the economy. Imagine what an extra 10,000, 50,000 or 100,00+ tech jobs, filled with skilled workers, could do for the economy.

Tech employers can create a greater positive impact on the UK economy by upskilling tech workers via in-demand IT certifications. This could help close the digital skills gap, which costs the UK about £63 billion per year, according to Gov.uk.

Also, £2.6 billion could be contributed to the UK economy yearly if the tech sector achieved gender parity, per a 2022 report by NatWest Group and Code First Girls.

1 in 3 Tech Employees in the UK Work in the Top 4 Metropolitan Areas

In the UK, one-third of tech employees work in the top 4 metropolitan areas, with London being the largest area. The other three areas include Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol. Year-over-year, both London and Birmingham experienced the most pronounced increase in net tech employment.

Here are the percentages of net tech employment, as a percent of local employment, in ranked order of localities and percentages:

  • London: 9%
  • Leeds: 8.5%
  • Edinburgh: 8.2%
  • Birmingham: 6.7%
  • Bristol: 6.4%
  • Glasgow: 6.3%
  • Nottingham: 6.3%
  • Belfast: 6.2%
  • Newcastle: 5.7%
  • Manchester: 5.7%

As employers nationally continue to create tech jobs, each locale will likely see a gradual increase of net tech employment over time. In five years, these percentages could be notably higher, which would be a boon to the overall UK economy and the tech workforce.

Tech Jobs Yield an Average Annual Wage That Is 55% Higher Than Others

One of the main draws of a career in tech is the pay. In the UK, tech jobs yield an average annual wage that is 55% higher than other median wages across the entire labor market. This is significant and makes a marked difference in a tech employee’s quality of life.

The top 5 metro areas with the highest average tech wages, ranked, include:

  • London
  • Edinburgh
  • Bristol
  • Glasgow
  • Leeds

Employers could entice internal employees that show promise in technology to tech careers by advertising median tech wages. By upskilling these individuals, employers could promote from within, saving money and time by developing their own tech talent and contributing to the wellbeing of the economy.  

Learn more about tech employment, technology trends, economic impact, salaries and hiring activity in the UK in the CompTIA State of the Tech Workforce UK 2023 report.  

Unless otherwise indicated, every statistic in this article was taken from the CompTIA State of the Tech Workforce UK 2023 report.

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