Accenture Tech Talent Tracker flags pool of data stars in Edinburgh and Glasgow

Professional services giant Accenture has pushed the button on an initiative that highlights the “significant” pool of data analysts in Edinburgh and Glasgow to draw more business to Scotland.

Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 3:17 pm
From left: Olly Benzecry, Michelle Hawkins and Les Bayne of Accenture. Picture: contributed.

But while it flagged progress in both, it also said Scottish cities need to sustain a competitive professional environment to attract new talent. Accenture UKI country MD Olly Benzecry and the Accenture Scotland leadership team of Michelle Hawkins and Les Bayne have launched the UK Tech Talent Tracker.

Analysis of LinkedIn’s professional network data found that Edinburgh has the third-largest pool of digital professionals (10,543) after London (155,099) and Manchester (11,035), with innovations in data and robotics helping the city towards its bid to become the data capital of Europe.

Glasgow came in seventh, ahead of Brighton, Newcastle, Cardiff and Liverpool, with a talent pool of 6,361. It was also the top city for producing the highest number of digital technology students and graduates for computer science and mathematics.

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However, the tracker also discovered that London accounts for 37 per cent of all UK tech professionals (155,000) with skills in emerging technologies such as data analytics, artificial intelligence and blockchain, as well as 63,000 advertised jobs in the sector. This is more than the combined number of similar jobs in ten other UK cities, including Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol and Liverpool.

Hawkins, joint regional MD for Accenture in Scotland, said: “Tech skills outside of London are often overlooked – both how much there is and how fundamental they are for business growth.

“So many organisations are looking to expand throughout the UK – and availability of talent is one of the biggest factors in that. Edinburgh is steadily building its digital muscle, recently announcing five new innovation hubs as part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Deal.

“In Glasgow, the likes of JP Morgan, BBC, ScottishPower and Barclays are some of the companies who have chosen Glasgow for digital centres of excellence, with plans to collectively establish a major campus on the River Clyde.”

She also said the tracker shows the potential dangers to Scottish digital aspirations with so many tech workers in London, where salaries are on average 10 per cent higher than other roles. “But it also shows the potential for businesses to bring more opportunities to people in Edinburgh and Glasgow by shifting the centre of gravity for tech talent.”

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