Reports

Welcome to your round up of some of the past week’s most interesting surveys, statistics and reports relevant to those involved in the UK tech industry.

This week, we have statistics relating to UK tech roles, fun office features, the gender gap in the Northern tech sector, post-Brexit business conditions and FinTech investment figures for 2016.

UK tech roles

Online technology careers site Dice has revealed the results of its “Job Market Report 2017”, which found 74% of tech professionals are positive about prospects for 2017.

Despite the Brexit result, half of technology professionals are currently earning over £40,000 per year, a 1% increase compared to 2015. This also compares favourably to the UK average salary of £28,000 per annum.

Additionally, 59% of permanent tech employees received a pay rise in 2016, and 62% expect an increase during their next review.

However, of the 670 permanent employees and 390 contractors surveyed, 42 are actively seeking a new role, and 44% hope to change roles within the next three months.

Jamie Bowler, marketing director of Dice, commented: “While it is great news that the UK tech industry is shaking off the Brexit blues and that tech professionals are confident about prospects and looking to further their careers, employers need to start looking at alternate ways to attract and retain the best tech talent.

“Our report found that only 29% of employers are offering training and technical skills development to their employees. We believe this low percentage showcases an ‘aspiration gap’ where tech employees want positions that offer the chance to learn and develop new skills over those which offer more money – but many employers have yet to capitalise on this.

“Overall, the sector is strong, with strong pay levels and a self-starting workforce who are happy to invest in their own development,” he concluded.

Ditch the hammocks

Ping pong tables, hammocks and other quirky office perks may seem like a good idea to startup businesses, but 86% of UK adults said fun features in their office added no real value to their working life.

Additionally, only 11% of respondents said fun office extras were nice to have and of value, while just 3% said they were very valuable.

In fact, the survey, conducted by Kiwi Movers, found 1 in 4 of UK workers find office toys annoying, with 79% saying reliable and modern technology was more important to them than office aesthetics.

Some 71% also said they’d like more space in their office and of those, 58% think extra space could be achieved by removing non-essential items.

Occupational health expert, Sir Cary Cooper CBE, commented: “Businesses often confuse perks with culture. Providing recreational spaces and a fun environment are not the same as establishing a positive culture that makes employees happy, improves retention rates and increases output.

“Anyone can order a few hammocks and beanbags from Amazon, but it takes years of hard work, research and commitment to values to establish a meaningful workplace culture,” he added.

Northern gender gap

Manchester Digital’s annual digital skills audit has revealed the gender gap in the northern technology sector is continuing to widen, with workforces split 72:28 male to female. This compares with a 60:40 split last year.

When it comes to technical roles, the gap is even wider, with a male to female split of 88:12, compared to a 70:30 divide last year.

Additionally, the survey discovered over half of businesses surveyed said their tech teams are all male.

Katie Gallagher, managing director at Manchester Digital, commented: “The results of our annual skills audit once again reflect a thriving industry, but one that is seriously hampered by the ability to recruit at the necessary volume.

“The sector’s widening gender gap is a key concern for us, and something we will continue to address through our own initiatives and by working with relevant groups who champion minorities and diversity in the sector.”

Post-Brexit business conditions

Silicon Valley Bank’s “Startup Outlook” report revealed 48% of UK startups believe 2017 will be a better year than 2016.

Some 16% said this year will be tougher, and 36% believe business conditions will be the same as last year.

Despite this, 89% of UK startups are expecting to grow their workforce in 2017, and 21% say they are remaining in the UK but will be opening a European outpost this year.

Additionally, 11% of UK startups are thinking of moving their HQ to Europe, and 5% have considered moving their HQ elsewhere. 1% said they will definitely be moving their HQ to mainland Europe.

Phil Cox, head of EMEA and president of Silicon Valley Bank’s UK Branch, commented: “While 21% of innovators say they will be opening European outposts, the majority will continue to back Britain as the home for their headquarters. Businesses are seeing more opportunity than fear, which can only be a good thing.

“Brexit may give us opportunities to address concerns about overall competitiveness within the EU by focusing on the factors that drive business innovation and success. The focus will be on simplification, easing contractual arrangements, encouraging investment and competitive taxation.”

FinTech

According to a report by CB Insights, UK FinTech startups raised a total of $173m across 16 deals in Q4 2016, up $95m from Q3.

The “Global FinTech report” also highlighted the top UK FinTech funding rounds, which included Nutmeg’s £42m Series D and the £20m Series C closed by EZBob in March last year.

For more on the report’s findings, see the full article here.

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