By Kristy Dorsey

New data has revealed that more than a fifth of workers in Edinburgh and Glasgow are employed in digital tech, with the sector recovering in confidence and increasing recruitment levels in the wake of the pandemic.

The analysis by Tech Nation for the Government’s Digital Economy Council indicates that Scotland’s tech sector is one of the strongest in the UK outside London and the southeast of England. It also points to “encouraging signs of recovery” in recent weeks with hiring announcements from several companies, such as Amazon’s intention to create hundreds of new jobs in Fife and Dundee.

This is said to be in line with the national trend, where the number of vacancies advertised in the digital tech sector rose by 36 per cent during the two months to the beginning of August.

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“It is fantastic to see our multi-billion pound digital tech sector not only continue to thrive, but make a vital contribution to economic recovery as we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic,” Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said.

“This report shows Scotland is a competitive choice for both companies and individuals creating high-quality, well-paid jobs.”

Edinburgh has 23 per cent of its workforce in digital tech roles, while Glasgow has 22%. Edinburgh’s median digital tech salary is £44,938, the second-highest outside London.

Before lockdown, the UK digital tech sector was consistently advertising more than 150,000 jobs a week in the first three months of the year, according to the Tech Nation analysis. Vacancies fell in line with all other sections of the economy when restrictions came into force, but have since recovered to stand at 90,297 during the week commencing August 9.

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During 2019, 69,000 jobs in digital tech were advertised in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and 113,274 across the country as a whole. The Scottish cities rank among nine in the UK where more than a fifth are employed in digital tech, led by Cambridge and Belfast at nearly 26%.

The figures come from the Bright Tech Future report on jobs and skills due to be published next month.

It is said the report will show that demand for certain skills – such as full stack developer – has increased right across the UK, while software developer was the most advertised role in 2019. The report’s authors point out that the increase in remote working because of the pandemic will make these roles less location-specific, offering the opportunity for those living in more remote regions.

According to Tech Nation, 16.5% of advertised roles in Scotland are now in the tech sector. Demand for particular skills, such as engineers in Edinburgh, has jumped by a quarter.