Shortage of skills in the UK doesn’t deter technology investors


Global financial and professional services recruiter Morgan McKinley’s UK 2019 IT/Technology salary guide reveals how the UK has been experiencing a significant and worrying shortage of talent, meaning the sector is lagging behind other countries in terms of skills development. Despite this perceived lack of appropriately skilled professionals, investment in London based technology startups was momentous in 2018, placing it in the top three global cities in this regard.

Other key highlights were:

  • Permanent professionals could expect to secure, on average, 20.7% salary increases when changing position
  • There was a chronic shortage of available talent in emerging technologies and specialist fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Software Engineering, Cyber Security and Cloud
  • Shortage of talent has been exacerbated by the reduction of EU applicants, but organisations became willing to sponsor talent from outside the EU
  • Technology-driven firms have been forced to open satellite offices in nearby European cities
  • Banking and Financial Services sector continued to play catch up with Tech disruptors by introducing emerging Cloud and Automation technologies
  • Hottest big data technologies were SQL, Python, Hadoop within Data Science, and Kafka, Scala, Spark underpinned with Java within Data Engineering
  • Data Visualisation boomed, with record numbers of vacancies – hottest platforms were Tableau, PowerBi, Qlik and Alteryx
  • Within banking and financial services, developers in eTrading, Algo and KDB demanded premium salaries and rates
  • Java continued to be the most common development language in financial services but Python gained momentum
  • 2018 saw high profile security breaches, highlighting how companies need to increase their cybersecurity measures including the hiring of Security Architects, Security Operations Engineers, Network Security Engineers and IAM Consultants

Cem Baris, Director of Information Technology at Morgan McKinley, commented; “The UK saw plenty of large technology fundraises in 2018; hard evidence that the UK remains a key destination where businesses can be scaled up. Across numerous industries, the rapid pace at which tech evolves is interfering with business models and organisations have to be fast to adapt – regular hiring is necessary to harness the opportunities. For example, 5G is being built at scale, automation and robotics are making processes easier to deal with, and the ethical use of Artificial Intelligence is now a serious consideration of all companies using the technology. The technology sector is heavily reliant on the free flow of talent and capital; these channels remaining open in post-Brexit Britain is crucial to the sector’s ongoing success.