Edinburgh recognised as one of the UK’s leading tech hubs as digital jobs soar by three times the national average


Edinburgh’s status as one of the UK’s leading tech hubs has been reinforced by the launch of a national tour, aimed at solving the talent challenges found in the tech sector, in the Scottish capital.

Tech Nation, the UK network of ambitious tech entrepreneurs, will kick off the Bright Tech Future tour in the city by bringing local high-growth tech companies, universities, policy makers, venture capital firms/investors and tech titans to learn, share and collaborate on how they can boost the opportunities for tech companies across the country. 

Edinburgh’s tech sector contributed nearly £4bn in revenue to the economy last year and employs almost 60,000 people, according to Tech Nation’s Bright Tech Future Jobs/Skills report. The city is responsible for creating three of the UK’s leading tech unicorns – travel comparison site Skyscanner, fantasy sports platform FanDuel and data consultancy group Wood Mackenzie – and these huge successes have helped contribute to the number of local jobs in digital tech increasing by more than three times the UK average between 2014 and 2017. 

Recent figures on venture capital investment into the UK tech sector showed that 2019 is turning into an exceptional year for the country as a whole, with $6.7bn invested in tech companies so far this year and Scottish tech firms have raised $53m in funding so far in 2019.

One in five job vacancies advertised in the Scottish capital are in the tech sector and Edinburgh offers the highest salaries for people filling these roles, after London. The average tech sector job in the Scottish capital pays £42,500, almost 15% more than the average non-tech job in the city. 

Scotland’s attractiveness to tech workers can be seen when cost of living data is taken into account. Looking at spending power, Edinburgh is the best place for an analyst to work in the UK, while Glasgow tops the list for project managers. 

To celebrate Scotland’s breadth and depth of talent, Tech Nation will hold the launch event of the Bright Tech Series tour at Codebase, the Edinburgh home of the UK’s largest tech incubator, on 27 August. The event will be hosted by Tech Nation’s Head of Insights George Windsor and Hazel Gibbens, Scotland’s entrepreneur engagement manager.

Tech Nation is working closely with the Digital Economy Council and DCMS to recognise the critical role that tech workers who don’t hold executive roles play in creating the UK’s most successful growing tech companies. To do this it has launched the Bright Tech Future awards, aimed at the 99% of workers in the tech sector, rather than the founders and CEOs. To find out more about the awards and to nominate up to three team members, go to this awards website.

Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan said: “Scotland’s tech scene is leading the way in the development of cutting-edge cyber security, clean growth technologies and it has already produced three of the UK’s leading billion dollar tech companies, helping to strengthen the UK’s reputation as Europe’s leading tech hub.

“I’m pleased to see the world-class tech talent in Edinburgh come together to discuss how we can continue to make Britain the best place to start and grow a digital business, and I encourage bosses to nominate their staff for the inaugural Tech Nation Bright Tech Future Awards.”

George Windsor, head of Insights, Tech Nation, said: “Edinburgh has established itself as a thriving tech hub not just in Scotland but across the whole of the UK. The Tech Nation report reveals it has played a key role in the success of the UK’s booming tech sector, contributing billions into the economy and the city and punching well above its weight to beat UK averages for job creation, salaries and digital tech turnover.” 

Vicky Brock, CEO and founder of vistalworks, said: “Scotland is a fantastic place for a tech business to flourish because you have all the skills you need on your doorstep. A supportive network of entrepreneurs and an active investment scene, coupled with world-class universities – and the fact that it’s such a friendly and beautiful part of the world to live in – combine to make it a truly unique place to run a digital tech business.”

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