Despite being in the early stages of what is predicted to be the worst recession in living memory, we are still witnessing incredible growth in the digital sector, across all areas of the UK economy.
According to a report from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, the digital sector contributed £149 billion to the UK economy in 2018, accounts for 7.7% of the entire UK economy, and is experiencing a level of growth that is significantly higher than the rest of the economy.
The Tech Nation 2020 report identified that the UK is Europe’s top scaling tech nation, and is continuing to increase its lead on a global scale. £10.1billion was invested into UK tech companies in 2019.
And the investment isn’t restricted to London – Manchester being Europe’s fastest growing major tech cluster, with investment growing from £48 million in 2018 to £181million in 2019. A further 16 towns in the UK were identified by the 2018 Tech Nation report as being Silicon Suburbs, showing a higher than average proportion of digital tech employment.
In terms of employment, the industry grew by 40% over the past 2 years, with 2.93million jobs created.
Of course, if we want this success to continue in the current climate, it’s vital that we develop the digital infrastructure and skills needed to support the sector and unlock future opportunities.
As the sector continues to grow, candidates with digital skills will be in high demand as unemployment across the market as a whole is set to increase. As well as developing the baseline digital skills needed for the vast majority of jobs across all sectors, the workforce must also develop the specific digital skills required for roles within the tech sector and more technically orientated roles.
What’s more, as digital skills change over time in response to technological developments and advancements, it’s crucial that the workforce is constantly upskilled.
There can be little doubt that the UK economy, along with economies across the globe, is facing a significant challenge. But, with on-going investment and training in the digital sector, we will emerge from this crisis, albeit with a more tech-focussed approach than before. To find out more about the role of digital skills in economic recovery, tune in to the Dynamo North East and Geek Talent webinar with Jill McKinney from Sunderland Software City, a representative from Ubisoft, and Xander Brouwer from the Institute of coding.