Editorial

West Midlands on track to create extra 52,000 digital tech jobs

West Midlands digital sector named the UK’s fastest growing region

Posted 11 October 2021 by Christine Horton


The West Midlands has been named the country’s fastest-growing tech sector.

Digital industries are expected to create thousands of new jobs by the end of 2025 according to a new government report released ahead of Birmingham Tech Week. The region is predicted to create an additional 52,000 roles in the sector over the next four years – an increase of 55 percent since 2019. 

The figures were published as part of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Assessing the UK’s regional digital ecosystems report

Tech growth in the region grew by an average of 7.6 percent a year between 2014 and 2019, the fastest region in the UK. Going forward it is expected to generate at least £2.7 billion for the local economy by 2025. 

It comes as new figures compiled by job search engine Adzuna and investment analysts Dealroom for the UK’s Digital Economy Council and Tech Nation show tech companies in the West Midlands are on track to raise more venture capital investment in 2021 than they did a year earlier. Tech job vacancies advertised in the region have almost doubled since December 2020. 

Meanwhile, tech companies in the West Midlands have raised £454 million in venture capital funding already this year, compared to £358 million last year, while tech vacancies have increased from 5,099 in December 2020 to 9,287 in October 2021.

Bringing the public, private and third sectors together

“As Birmingham Tech Week kicks off it’s great to see the digital sector in the West Midlands entering a golden era,” said Digital Minister Chris Philp. “There are high-quality and well-paid job opportunities for those who want to pursue a career in tech and the region is fast-becoming a powerhouse of digital talent.

To make sure people in the region have the skills to match local employment needs, the government is supporting the West Midlands Local Digital Skills Partnership to bring the public, private and third sectors together to boost people’s digital skills and make sure  people from all backgrounds have access to training.

The work is paying off with a new report last month showing there is increased awareness of digital opportunities among young people, there are more digital skills and career opportunities available and there has been a boost in business confidence.

Analysis by Tech Nation shows Birmingham is the second top ranked city for cost of living versus salary for tech roles, with these roles making up 22% of all job openings in 2020 – growth of 17% from 2018.

The West Midlands has been successful in attracting large digital sector employers, particularly in Birmingham. The region is also home to 1,308 start-ups, according to Tech Nation’s Data Commons