The London IT skills market is in rude health as the capital rebounds from the financial crisis far more vigorously than just about anywhere else in the UK, according to new research from ReThink Recruitment.
Even though it represents just 13% of the UK’s population, London now accounts for 40% of all new jobs and IT contracts in the country, climbing significantly from the 34% share held before the recession.
Commenting on the figures, ReThink’s Director Michael Bennett told the freelancer news outlet Shout99 “London is quickly emerging as a major hub for high-tech IT start ups – with several heavy hitters including Cisco and Google recently investing in Shoreditch. In comparison with other high-tech centres, London still offers relatively cheap rents and has consequently attracted very specialised tech firms looking to recruit qualified IT candidates.”
It seems that firms offering venture capital – the key source of funding for new tech start-ups – are turning to Europe in preference to Silicon Valley, where investments are considered over-priced. London has benefited from this shift. Moreover, the capital is home to the headquarters of many financial services firms and banks, which are responding to increased business volumes by re-hiring the IT staff they had previously cut during the recession. Umbrella companies supplying experts in IT contracting are amongst the new beneficiaries.
The public sector, by contrast, looks frankly beleaguered. Regions outside London and the South East have lost market share, Bennett believes, because they had relied so heavily on the public sector for IT job creation. Recruitment freezes are already underway and IT projects are being cut, significantly subduing demand for IT skills.