Research launched in February 2021 from the UK Tech Cluster Group, supported by the Institute of Coding (IoC), shows that the tech sector has continued to see growth in 2020. Despite the national upheaval caused by the pandemic, 42 per cent of tech companies reported an increase in revenue over the past 12 months (with 32 per cent staying the same) and almost half (46 per cent) said they had increased their employee numbers.
Ten per cent of all advertised jobs are currently from the tech sector, the second highest number of vacancies following the healthcare sector. New Tech Nation data shows that, if growth continues at this rate, the tech sector will have 100,000 job openings per month by the end of the second quarter of 2021.
With more than 1.7 million people out of work in the UK, there is an opportunity for a national pivot to digital skills, which will also support the UK’s economic recovery. What’s more, there is an urgent need for flexible and accessible digital skills education, so that a diverse group of people can take advantage of the well-paying jobs that are available. The average tech salary in the UK (£53,318) is up four per cent from 2019 figures, showing the personal economic benefit available in these roles.
The Institute of Coding, a government-supported initiative designed to respond to the UK’s digital skills gap, has already enrolled more than 800,000 people as it marks three years of upskilling learners and supporting their journey into the sector. Its online courses are specifically designed to be accessible to a large variety of people from a diverse range of backgrounds, and the courses have been created with input from major employers to help meet the demands of the national skills crisis.
In a recent survey of its learners, 25 per cent said their work situation had been improved from taking a course – either by gaining a promotion, taking on more responsibilities or taking on a new more technical job. Respondents also reported themselves to be better prepared for future careers (63 per cent), more confident working in tech (61 per cent) and more confident to apply for tech roles (54 per cent).
Digital Minister Caroline Dinenage said: “The UK’s tech sector has shown tremendous resilience over the last year and continues to create jobs and opportunities for people up and down the country.
“The government is supporting people to build their digital skills through initiatives such as the Fast Track Digital Workforce Fund and The Skills Toolkit. This will help make sure everyone can develop the expertise they need to succeed in our growing digital economy.”