Organisations in the UK were seeking more IT staff than ever before in 2016, with job postings in the sector increasing by 10 per cent on the previous year. These figures have emerged from the global IT industry body CompTIA and using stats from Burning Glass Labour Insights and the ONS. Analysis suggested that throughout 2016 there was more than 1.3 million IT job postings, which would equate to more than 1 in 10 of all UK job advertisements being for technology positions. The size of the UK technology workforce has grown year on year, increasing by over 100,000 since 2012.
The results also highlighted how important technology roles have become to businesses across the country. In the fourth quarter of 2016, 13 per cent of all job postings were IT based, demonstrating the need for qualified technological staff across the working environment.
There have been recent fears that the nation's decision to leave the EU may affect firms' decision making when looking to hire in the UK, with high profile personnel such as the chief executive of the London Stock Exchange warning that Brexit could lead to the loss of 230,000 jobs. These employment figures will come as welcome news to the government and the tech workforce alike. Of the top 10 UK employers with the most IT job postings in Q4 of 2016, nine were private sector organisations, with over half being companies whose headquarters are outside the UK.
"Businesses in the UK continue to become ever more reliant on technology and these results highlight that firms are looking for staff to help them meet IT demands in the 21st century,” says Graham Hunter, VP Certifications, Europe and Middle East at CompTIA. “Most organisations now need tech savvy employees across the workplace and not simply in the IT department, which goes in part to explaining the continued increase in demand.
"It is also positive to see that Brexit fears are not deterring organisations from the UK market,” he continued. “Recent announcements, such as Snapchat basing its international headquarters in the UK and Google saying it will create 3,000 new jobs and a new London headquarters, highlights that the UK is seen by companies as a place of technological excellence. This will ensure that demand for technology focussed staff continues and will help maintain this impressive growth span in jobs that we are seeing.
"We now need to ensure that the nation is producing enough talent with all the skills and capabilities to fill these rolls, in order to continue this trend and demonstrate the UK's stance as a tech leader," he said.
"The extent to which technology skills underpin today's business environment comes as no surprise, with the ever-increasing demand for qualified IT staff endorsing CompTIA's focus on IT education and certification,” observes Kristian Wright, managing director of Network Operations Centre Inbay and Executive Council Member at CompTIA. “The flip side, however, is that given the wealth of job opportunities out there, SMBs in particular are finding it more difficult to retain skilled staff and attract the new people they need to deliver today's in-demand services - business continuity and security, for example. This makes it even more important for SMBs to develop current staff using the training and certification programs available through CompTIA, and by ensuring their continuous development, makes it less likely that they will lose highly skilled resources."