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Reasons to be (cautiously) optimistic as we head into 2021

Reasons to be (cautiously) optimistic as we head into 2021

Posted on 5th January 2021

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British tech firms raised more cash in 2020 than in 2019 - £11BN, ($15BN, slightly above the $14.8BN in 2019) and (interestingly, given that Brexit is now a fait accompli) more than the rest of Europe combined.   According to a report for the UK government, the cities which, in particular, attracted more investment last year include Oxford, Leeds, Newcastle and Glasgow.  The (admittedly partisan) Daily Telegraph’s ‘Hot 100 tech list) notes the global nature of Britain’s technology scene, with just over a quarter of the founders featured having been born overseas. Others had spent time travelling worldwide before settling down in the UK to build their companies. With a level playing field for international talent post-Brexit, it will be interesting to see which employers are first out of the blocks to tap the truly global talent market to help tackle the critical skills shortages that still bedevil many tech firms.

The burgeoning interest by investors in the key regions and urban centres for UK tech is reflected in Adzuna’s data on the tech job market last year.  We all know that tech recruitment plummeted as the country went into lockdown at the end of March 2020, but in November there were more than 75,000 tech jobs advertised in the UK.  Admittedly, and just to show we are not out of the woods yet, this is fewer than the 106,000 job ads pre-pandemic, but it is a rise of 50% on the numbers in July.  And it’s still rising…

On the ground, here at Be-IT we have seen this resumption of demand grow over the last few months, to the extent that our pipeline of vacancies for January is (almost) back to normal.  IT/digital businesses are clearly looking to grow in 2021 and, while the mainstream media agonises over every detail of the roll-out of the vaccine, most sensible firms have already factored in the time it will take (up to the summer we reckon, but hopefully sooner, despite the current lockdown) for a massive rebound to take business sentiment to new levels of expectancy and confidence.  There will, obviously, be setbacks (and IR35) along the way, but we can look forward with real hope now.

Nikola Kelly, MD,  Be-IT

Posted in Opinion, Recruitment News

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