According to new findings released by the Tech Nation project, the UK technology industry is the most important sector in the UK.
The report noted that approximately 7.5 per cent of the UK workforce are currently employed in the tech industry (1.46 million people) and forecast that the growth rate for digitally-related job roles across Britain will surpass growth in all other employment sectors by 2020.
Among the Tech Nation findings it was also reported that digital job growth has taken place at an explosive rate, with London’s tech scene itself seeing a 92 per cent growth in the number of tech startups over the last five years. 50 per cent of UK-based digital companies had been founded since 2008.
Despite London’s Tech City being labelled as the UK’s tech ‘cluster’, the report found that nearly 75 per cent of British digital firms are in fact based outside of the capital, with Greater Manchester, Bristol, Brighton, Liverpool, Bournemouth, Bath and Belfast listed among the fastest growing areas outside of London.
The number of new digital companies created in Bournemouth between 2010 and 2013 has grown 212 per cent. Brighton and Hove was found to be the region most densely populated by tech firms, at three per cent higher than the national average, and one per cent higher than central London.
The report is “the first comprehensive analysis of the UK’s digital technology clusters”, and comprises of data and analysis released by Tech Nation, a new project formed as part of Tech City, the government-funded digital project in east London.
Prime Minister David Cameron said of the initiative: “Backing the industries of the future is a key part of our long-term economic plan to support business, create more jobs and build a more resilient economy.
“The digital economy has become an integral part of our country and the rapid growth of many digital businesses has confirmed Britain’s position as a global hub of technology excellence. We are committed to supporting the growth of our digital industry nationwide and Tech Nation shows the great innovation and thriving entrepreneurial spirit that is driving the sector forward across the country.”
Chancellor George Osborne added: “The UK is a world leader in the technology and digital sectors and what’s so exciting about today’s Tech Nation report is that it shows how we’re seeing the growth of tech businesses right across the country.
“As part of our plan for a truly national recovery we will do everything we can to support this growth and back the different tech clusters that are emerging around Britain.”
The Tech Nation report also noted that the growth witnessed across the industry had, in turn, sparked job creation, with over a million new posts in the digital sector advertised last year – a 28 per cent increase year on year.
Baroness Joanna Shields, chair of Tech City UK and digital adviser to the prime minister, said she believed today’s report has revealed the depth of the technology sector in the UK and the array of skills and strengths that make Britain a tech nation:
“We are a tech nation and we hope this project will inspire innovation and growth for years to come.”