Preston named fastest-growing UK city for tech jobs

Preston has been identified by the government's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Digital Economy Council as the fastest-growing city in the country for tech jobs.

The number of jobs in the sector increased by 53 per cent between 2018 and 2020, which is the highest level of increase anywhere in the UK.

Three years ago, tech jobs made up 11 per cent of all available roles in the city, however this has since increased to 17 per cent in 2020, with over 2,000 IT-related job vacancies in Preston throughout 2020.

Software developers are consistently one of the most in-demand roles from companies across the whole of the industry. In Preston, there have been 577 job opportunities for software developers this year, the top IT-related job in the city.

This increase in demand for skilled tech workers has also led to an increase in advertised salaries. The median digital tech salary in Preston is now £33,500, up from £32,500 in 2018, and compared to the median salary across all roles which is £23,156. 

Across the city, the highest-paid tech jobs include systems engineers, which are responsible for assessing systems and providing solutions to any problems that arise and have an average advertised salary of £67,548. Design engineers, which use software to develop,test and improve manufacturing processes and product designs, and also have a higher-than-average advertised salary of £61,071. 

Non-technical staff such as project managers which are important for the delivery of tech services and products are also in demand in the city. Project managers can command a higher salary than the median paid in the city, with the average advertised salary of £44,917, an uplift of 25 per cent since last year. 

Dr George Windsor, head of insights at Tech Nation, said: “Preston demonstrates how the UK tech industry is maturing beyond the concentration of jobs and companies in the South East and London to more cities across the country. It’s interesting to see how demand for IT roles has jumped so much over the past few years in Preston, with large infrastructure companies, in particular, looking for talent.”

Nadine Dorries, the government's digital secretary, said: “I'm delighted to see Preston has become a hotbed for tech with an explosion of demand for developers and systems engineers across the city. 

"This government is determined to level up opportunity across the country and support people right with the skills and knowledge they need so we can build back better from the pandemic."

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