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West Midlands sees 31% surge in hiring for fast-growing tech sector

The UK's fastest-growing tech hub, home to 'Silicon Spa', is now valued at £15.3 billion too, up from £11.5 billion in 2021

There has been a surge in hiring among tech startups located in the West Midlands that's seen workforces grow by a fifth in Birmingham and 31% overall across the wider region.

Tech startups and scaleups in the region have stepped up hiring this year, following high demand for their products and services, according to analysis by job search engine Adzuna for the UK’s Digital Economy Council. 

The hiring has followed a sharp increase in the value of the tech companies based in the region, with its tech ecosystem now valued at £15.3 billion, up from £11.5 billion in 2021, according to data from Dealroom. 

There are more than 144,000 people employed in tech startups and scaleups across the West Midlands, with more than 56,000 in Birmingham alone. The analysis recorded a 21.3% increase in tech jobs in Birmingham in the first seven months of 2022, rising to 31% across the region.

The most in-demand jobs are a mix of technical, including software developers and java experts, and more generalist business roles, like business analysts or project managers. The top hiring companies for tech jobs include PA Consulting Group, Appen, BT, and Jaguar Land Rover.

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“The West Midlands was recently named as the UK’s fastest growing tech hub and it's not hard to see why. The variety and diversity of the tech sector, from sports tech and HR tech in Birmingham to gaming in Royal Leamington Spa, means this is an industry that is thriving and providing exciting job opportunities across the board,” said Damian Collins, minister for Tech and the Digital Economy.

West Midlands tech companies have raised over £850 million in venture capital funding since 2020. Health tech has also been the dominant sector, with health tech startups raising £534 million since 2020.

This has been driven by companies like Quanta Dialysis, a cloud-based platform to improve kidney care, MitrAssist, a startup focusing on a minimally invasive approach to heart surgery, and NanoSyrinx, a biotech startup from the University of Warwick developing novel methods for targeted drug discovery. 

Health technology is predicted to contribute around £400 million annually in value to the region by 2030, boosted by seven research-led universities in the region and groups like the West Midlands Health Technologies Cluster working to promote the sector.

Transport technology startups and scaleups have also raised over £270 million in the past three years. This includes ByBox, a smart locker company, Zipabout, the personalised travel solution, and Skyfarer, which aims to use drones to improve transport and delivery logistics. 

Lastly, the companies found that Royal Leamington Spa, known as ‘Silicon Spa’, is responsible for over 10% of the UK’s total games development, with a turnover of £101 million. It’s home to Codemasters, one of the pioneers in the UK gaming industry, and companies such as Blitz Games, Playground Games, Appy Nation and Rare.

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