Tech jobs power 48% growth in North West vacancies

Manchester and the North West is seeing a glut of technology vacancies that is adding further fuel to the fire that it will soon rival London’s Tech City on the European technology stage.

Related: Beyond Tech City: Why UK startups should look outside of East London

Figures released as part of Venn Group’s contract and interim employment update show that vacancy levels in the North West increased by 48 per cent between Q4 2013 and Q1 2014 with demand for IT professionals particularly high.

“With recent reports that Manchester has been named Europe’s second largest digital hub, we would expect the current demand for IT specialists – in particular programme managers - to remain steady, and in some cases heighten, as we progress through the year,” said Stan Murray-Hession, Venn Group’s director of operations in the North West. “Furthermore, we have also noted an upward pressure on rates as a result of the niche skill sets employers are seeking. Contractors are, in some case, being offered in excess of £280 a day and we see no sign of this trend abating”.

Technology jobs in the UK have been rising steadily around southern England for the past five years and reached a nadir in August 2013 when second quarter figures showed that jobs had increased inside London from 5,736 to 9.886 between 2009 and 2013.

At the time jobs in the North West’s technology industry were said to have declined slightly and the latest increase will be music to the ears of those encouraging investment in startups based outside of London and the South East.

Related: Birmingham leads the way for UK startups outside the capital

The fact that Manchester is second only to London in terms of creative and digital companies across the whole of Europe speaks volumes for the optimism that many in the region have and continue to profess for the area’s technology hopes.