Across most sectors, there has been a significant rise in demand for contractors. According to the REC’s Report on Jobs, the top 3 sectors with a high demand for contractors were the Blue Collar, Engineering and IT divisions. IT contractors have had even more good news, with the growth in demand hitting a 9-month high in May. Furthermore, the skills employers are looking for from IT professionals include AI experts; Automation Testers, CAD, IT Security, DevOps, Data, Digital, Gaming, GDPR, Java, Oracle Fusion, Software Developers, Solutions Architects, Technology and UI/UX.


Which locations have the most active tech and IT communities?

An interesting new index called the UK Tech Innovation Index created by is an interactive map, which shows users where the largest IT communities are across the UK. The map is updated monthly as new data is accumulated and allows users to browse 5 technology categories:

  1. Artificial intelligence and data
  2. Clean growth
  3. Smart cities and mobility
  4. Ageing society
  5. Advanced manufacturing


Below we’ve included the top 20 locations across all 5 categories with the biggest IT communities:


Rank IT community location Score
1 London, Luton 21.5%
2 Birmingham, Coventry 7.3%
3 Manchester, Stoke, Burnley 6.4%
4 Reading, Aldershot, Slough 5.0%
5 Bristol, Cardiff, Newport 5.0%
6 Oxford, Northampton, Milton Keynes 4.7%
7 Leicester, Nottingham 4.7%
8 Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Barnsley, Huddersfield, Wakefield 4.7%
9 Romford, Dartford 4.0%
10 Edinburgh, Dundee 3.9%
11 Cambridge 3.5%
12 Glasgow 3.3%
13 Bournemouth, Southampton, Swindon 3.1%
14 Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough 3.0%
15 Liverpool, Birkenhead, Wigan, Warrington 3.0%
16 Hull, York 1.7%
17 Ipswich, Norwich 1.7%
18 Brighton, Worthing, Crawley 1.6%
19 Swansea, Exeter 1.5%
20 Preston, Blackpool 1.4%


This new map is an excellent tool for IT jobseekers, small businesses and start-ups as it provides useful data for both those looking to find where they may be gaps in the market or certain skills or services and thus less competition. While equally indicating where there is an over-saturation of skilled workers, which could be helpful for employers who may be struggling to find and hire experienced professionals in the midst of the staffing shortage crisis that is blighting the UK.


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