UK Tech Thrives Despite Pandemic
When it comes to navigating the challenges of pandemic, some industries have proven more resilient than others. The last few months have exposed the vulnerabilities of almost every sector, but as business attempts to acclimatise to a very new normal, the boom in UK Tech proves it may already be a few steps ahead of the game.
The Covid-19 crisis has underlined the crucial role that technology plays in our society and economy. From keeping us connected with friends and family, to enabling us to work from home; consumer habits and business practices have been reshaped enormously. We now order more groceries, prescriptions and other essentials to our doorstep than ever before and even turn to tech for our workouts and entertainment.
Perhaps more crucially, tech is equipping other sectors across the UK with the tools and resources to accelerate their own digital transformation. As reported by WebWire, technological solutions and services are quickly shaping the digital landscapes we occupy, with such trends expected to stick around.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said “The tech community in London and across the UK has risen to the challenges posed by coronavirus, demonstrating the sector’s resilience and innovation. We have observed the strength of the industry and I remain confident that London’s position as a global tech hub will continue to move us closer towards recovery.”
Even before pandemic, UK tech was an already-established global leader. Over the past 12 months, UK tech has built on a decade of consistent growth and continues to attract world-class investment. Since 2018, the UK has had more funding from the US and Asia than any other country in Europe, with foreign investment making up 67% of the total. UK tech employs more than 2.93 million people across the country, with average salaries £10k higher than in other sectors.
Figures compiled for the Digital Economy Council show that even in the current climate, the UK’s digital tech sector continues to attract investment. While digital tech vacancies are yet to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels, there is greater recruitment activity than in almost any other sector. By the end of April, an enormous 90,000 UK Tech jobs had been advertised; twice the number of openings in accounting and finance, the sector with the second most vacancies.
In April, the Government unveiled its Future Fund. The scheme matches funding for start-ups up to the tune of £250m, meaning tech companies which are typically loss-making can access support. Small and medium-size businesses focusing on research and development can also benefit from £750m of grants and loans, supporting innovative technologies that will strengthen the country’s recovery. It seems a technological revolution was already well underway, but our digital future has now been fast-tracked.
Cindy Rose, the UK CEO of Microsoft said “these numbers reflect the inherent strength of the UK tech sector and reinforce the belief that the UK remains an attractive destination to start and grow a successful digital business. I’m confident the UK tech sector will emerge strongly from this crisis and be a key factor in driving inclusive economic growth and recovery.”
Digital Secretary, Oliver Dowden said “The UK’s tech sector has consolidated its Europe-leading position. The country’s digital and tech firms have played a big part in supporting communities across the UK and beyond throughout the pandemic. We will back entrepreneurs, encourage innovators and help businesses make the most out of the opportunities the digital and tech world provides.”
It’s clear that tech will continue to play a huge part in shaping the world’s future, alongside bringing the power of resilience, collaboration and leadership to the forefront. Just as the 2008 financial crisis triggered an entrepreneurship boom in the UK, we are seeing signs that UK tech has deep foundations to emerge strongly from the crisis and help us acclimatise much quicker to our new surroundings.
ABL Recruitment team
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