London’s recognition as a technology centre has been further validated by a recent survey from global recruitment firm Hydrogen Group.
The survey reveals that within the technology sector, 41 percent of respondents who have relocated for employment have chosen London, drawn not only by its thriving technology industry but also its overall attractiveness as a place to live and work. For technology professionals, the UK is now favoured over the US, traditionally the heart of the industry, as a destination for relocation. London is a magnet for technology professionals in Europe, not just for the start-ups in Silicon Roundabout near Old Street, but also big international names. Decisions by leading technology brands such as Google, Apple, Amazon and Bloomberg to establish bases in the city have given London the edge over its European rivals. However it is not only London’s cutting edge technology sector that makes it so attractive, but its vibrancy, offering a variety of new experiences and a rich culture.
The survey showed that in seeking employment abroad, technology professionals are looking to improve their overall career prospects, maximise their earning potential and gain new experiences. According to the results, many feel London offers the perfect combination of these factors. Having relocated here, 80 percent anticipated staying longer than intended, with 42 percent outlining plans to remain permanently; compared to only 27 percent who intended to return home. Though respondents noted that the city is expensive, a huge 87 percent believe that this is offset by the positive effect that relocating to London has on salaries. The trend to move abroad is starting earlier in the careers of technology professionals with 47 percent moving to London aged 21 – 30.
This migration of professionals from abroad is helping to ensure that the meteoric rise of the UK technology industry is not hindered by a lack of home-grown IT talent. However, it is not only London which boasts a vibrant technology hub, other European cities such as Berlin, Dublin and Amsterdam are all snapping at London’s heels. Tim Smeaton, CEO of Hydrogen Group, said: “The city needs to ensure it can supply the tech professionals required, or risk companies looking elsewhere. The government needs to make sure that there is the opportunity for the right calibre tech professionals to work here to maintain our status as a leading global hub; companies need to recognise that talent is available globally and is keen to work here.”