How Birmingham Will Attract Top Tech Talent Over London
There’s no doubt that during 2018, Birmingham has shown real intent for developing its commercial and professional hub.
Home to over 3,000 tech firms – the highest number of any regional city core – Birmingham is quickly becoming an attractive prospect for tech graduates, those looking to start a new business or current tech workers that want a more affordable lifestyle without compromising on professional opportunities.
The region’s tech and digital sectors now make up the fifth largest industry in the area, representing 5% of businesses nationally and is only forecast to grow. Experts are predicting an increase of 14,000 jobs by 2025, adding to the current 70,000 that are available.
This boom in demand for roles isn’t limited to the tech sector either. As a city, Birmingham has attracted more people from London than anywhere else in the UK. With people leaving the Capital for increased affordability, around 6,500 people moved to Birmingham in 2016 and as a whole, more residents are staying in Birmingham than moving.
The number of active businesses within Birmingham is also up by 13.5%, three times the average UK growth rate. This commercial boost has been accelerated by the quality of businesses entering the region. From big banks to professional firms, industry-leading companies are choosing Birmingham as the site for their headquarters because of its increasing potential.
With the added benefit of HS2 showing a real desire to back Birmingham, the second city is looking more attractive to workers within the tech and digital industries, particularly businesses that are just starting out.
Birmingham Tech By The Numbers
Digital Jobs – 36,802
Digital GVA – £1.4 billion
Startups – 557
Average Digital Salary – £43,718
Local Startups Say:
Quality of Life – 80%
Tech Sector Growth Potential – 67%
Cost of Living – 62%
The Startup Revolution
Startups are a vital aspect of the tech sector, pushing innovative and fresh ideas out to the public. For many starting businesses, Birmingham represents a great place to start or grow an idea, particularly in the digital sector. With over 70 tech meetup groups currently active at the time of writing, Birmingham entrepreneurs are afforded the opportunity to network with like-minded people, finding workers with relevant skills.
During 2017, around 12,108 businesses were started in Birmingham, the most outside of London for the fifth consecutive year. On top of that, a steady supply of workspaces for digital businesses are being developed including the Alpha Works and the Custard Factory. The Alpha Works is a collaborative space aimed at offering startups a working foundation whereas the Custard Factory is developing as a creative quarter, providing office and event space alongside a selection of creative and digital businesses, independent shops and boutiques.
Birmingham is also home to a steady graduate pool, bolstered by over 18 universities all within an hours drive of the city including the University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University and Aston. With an affordable quality of life and a thriving digital ecosystem, Birmingham offers graduates a great place to ‘put down roots’ and take advantage of the opportunities available, particularly when it comes to startups.
Birmingham’s Digital Advantage
There’s no doubt that the tech talent pool in Birmingham is a major driver in attracting inward investment from both domestic and international firms. From fintech specialists such as Lombard Risk Management to software company Oxygen Finance, these companies are highlighting the ‘affordability and access to skilled, technical staff’.
Birmingham’s digital infrastructure is proving to be as important as it’s physical infrastructure, contributing to overall growth and putting the second city well-ahead of the other regional core cities in the key areas mentioned above.
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