London Looks to Have the IT Factor ; the Information and Communications Technology Sector Is Defying the Ongoing Economic Gloom, with the Capital Leading the Way in Jobs Growth, Writes Niki Chesworth

By Chesworth, Niki | The Evening Standard (London, England), May 1, 2012 | Go to article overview
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London Looks to Have the IT Factor ; the Information and Communications Technology Sector Is Defying the Ongoing Economic Gloom, with the Capital Leading the Way in Jobs Growth, Writes Niki Chesworth


Chesworth, Niki, The Evening Standard (London, England)


The information and communications technology sector is defying the ongoing economic gloom, with the capital leading the way in jobs growth, writes Niki Chesworth [broken bar] HE number of job vacancies has hit an eight-month high, with much of the growth in employment driven by a booming information and communications technology (ICT) sector, according to the latest Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs.

More positive news comes from a report by Regeneris Consulting, which predicts that the upgrade of BT's broadband network can deliver a near Pounds 20 billion boost to the capital by 2027, creating 26,000 new jobs and 6,600 new start-up businesses over the next 15 years.

The UK -- and London in particular -- is leading the way for IT jobs in Europe, and cloud services is one of the biggest growth areas, with up to half of company expenditure on IT predicted to be swallowed up by cloud solutions by 2015.

Fast-growing technology companies as well as telecoms and internet firms have been snapping up office space in London, taking up 1.3 million sq ft in 2011 alone, double the amount in the previous year, according to property consultancy Knight Frank.

The biggest demand came from Google, Nokia and Groupon but many smaller technology companies have also been requiring space in hi- tech hubs such as the Silicon Roundabout area in Shoreditch.

However, for technology companies to grow they need to be able to recruit skilled staff quickly and attract the brightest graduates away from other sectors such as banking and finance.

"If you are a start-up, the biggest challenge is to find great talent," says Pete Smith, co-founder of technology firm Songkick and the Silicon Milkroundabout recruitment event which was started to help smaller, fast-growing IT firms compete with the big management consultancies, advertising agencies, professional firms and banks, which traditionally embark on the annual "milkround" recruitment tour of universities.

"In order to build global companies, you need to hire the best people. In the UK we are in a great position for technical talent but we cannot rest on our laurels."

This year's event, which will be held at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane on the weekend of May 26 and 27, will bring together hundreds of UK start-ups as well as established technology firms to showcase their career opportunities.

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London Looks to Have the IT Factor ; the Information and Communications Technology Sector Is Defying the Ongoing Economic Gloom, with the Capital Leading the Way in Jobs Growth, Writes Niki Chesworth
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