By Jack Robert Stacey | Technology Editor
Tech Nation, a networking company specialising in UK-based tech entrepreneurship, has compiled data that presents a strong recovery in Cardiff’s tech companies following the initial outbreak of COVID-19. Comprising data collected across all of Wales, the recent analysis highlights a nationwide trend in tech-based employment as many companies seek to continue active operation remotely. After healthcare, the technology sector has the UK’s second largest number of open employment positions.
Additionally, Adzuna, a search-engine employment website that operates the Government’s ‘Find a Job’ service, maintains that Wales has seen a ballooning demand for highly-skilled workers. As workers with previous technology-based experience are still encouraged to move to Wales for employment, the total number of Cardiff residents employed in digital tech has increased by 20% since 2019.
In support of this analysis, Adzuna contends that, at the start of 2020, digital tech companies were advertising 150,000 positions. Although vacancies rose after the commencement of lockdown, 90,000 jobs had become available by August which retains the UK’s status as a leader within the European tech sector.
President of Microsoft Western Europe and the former CEO of Microsoft’s UK-based division, Cindy Rose OBE, praised the tech sector for “leading the way” in “UK’s post-Covid economic recovery with a boom in technology related hiring and jobs.”
With reference to the current situation, Rose stressed: “highlights the critical need for everyone – industry and government – to find ways to address the digital skills gap that existed before Covid but has only worsened since. Our collective commitment to close the skills gap will help ensure inclusive economic growth and opportunity for everyone.”
Tech Nation’s study recognises that, in the early 21st century, the Welsh technology sector saw unprecedented levels of industry growth and, over time, began to shape Cardiff into a uniquely diverse city with an “impressive quality of life for tech professionals.” The Welsh Government, aware of the opportunities that Cardiff-based tech companies represent, have worked with educational institutions to further close the country’s digital skills gap.
In the past few years, employment opportunities have changed drastically across cities in the UK which, with the consistent growth in digital tech companies, saw ‘Software Developer’ rise to become one of the most desirable positions, after frontline health and social care roles. Also, an increasing number of non-tech businesses are becoming integrated with online services, such as Tesco who announced 16,000 new positions for its online delivery division.
Simon Hart, the Secretary of State for Wales, highlighted that: “the digital sector is an increasingly important part of the Welsh economy and the rapid growth of many digital businesses across the country has created thousands of skilled jobs.”
Speaking about the resurgence of job opportunities within the country, Hart continued: “Wales’ tech businesses will now play a crucial role in our economic recovery from the pandemic and we will continue to support the sector’s growth in Wales.”
Even after the UK entered lockdown, Cardiff remains to be a uniquely resilient business environment which if current industry trends persist into 2021, will continue to foster up-and-coming start-up companies and employ tech professionals across South-East Wales.Science and Technology Jack Robert Stacey