There is a big problem looming in east London’s fast-rising tech startup hub, Tech City: the number of unfilled jobs has now risen to 4,700, suggesting that the fledging tech firms based there are struggling to find the talent they need.
So says new data from the jobs search engine Adzuna. Software developers emerge as the most sought-after candidates, with 1,473 job billings, but tech job openings in general in the area have climbed by 44% in one year. Graduates from technology courses may stand to benefit from the talent drought, although one Tech City MD believes they may lack vital experience.
James Haycock, who co-founded the product development company Adaptive Lab, said: “There are smart people who have come out of university but they haven’t got commercial experience, and there are people who are good but haven’t been using best practices.”
And the competition for talent is fierce: Tech City startups are not simply competing with each other for talent but they are also battling against huge financial institutions and retail firms for the same skills.
Commenting on the predicament, Adzuna’s co-founder Andrew Hunter said: “The problem lies in the graduate IT market. British employers are often looking for candidates with specific coding skill sets – SQL, Ruby, HTML, Python – and are hesitant to take on new graduates without work experience in these areas.”
On the plus side, government backing for Tech City appears to be having the desired effect and business does appear to be booming, Mr Hunter observed, but he urged tech firms to begin taking on technology apprentices.
In the meantime, however, seasoned independent IT pros contracting as Umbrella Company Employees may be just the ticket.