Tech skills shortage driving up salaries, Tech Nation survey reveals

The persistent tech skills crisis is driving up salaries, and Brexit could advance this trend, results of a new survey from Tech City UK reveal.

More than half of survey respondents to the Tech Nation 2017 survey said finding employees with the right skills for their business was challenging, and many of those feared the problem would grow post Brexit, as international talent could become harder to access.

“There are some big challenges ahead of the British digital tech sector, not least finding the skilled staff to continue growing at this rate, as the UK prepares to leave the EU. London in particular has benefitted from migration, with 20% of start-ups staffed by EU nationals,” said Wendy Tan White, general partner at pre-seed investment programme Entrepreneur First.

A shortage of talent may also explain a disproportionate rise in tech salaries to those in other sectors. The report found that tech salaries are now, on average, 44% higher than those of non-digital jobs, averaging just over £50,000.

But with these high salaries comes better productivity. The Gross Added Value of UK tech workers is now more than twice that of non-tech workers at £103,000 compared to £50,000.

The survey supports the most recent Tech Partnership labour market research, which showed that vacancies for digital roles outstripped numbers of ready candidates.

Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech City UK, said that the UK tech sector needed to maintain access to skilled workers after Brexit, while also encouraging domestic tech talent.

“Tech Nation 2017 shows how rapidly the UK’s tech innovation and productivity are gathering momentum. There are now significant tech hubs all over the UK, attracting both international investment and overseas talent”, he said.

Read more from the Tech Nation survey