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Manchester is top spot

Edinburgh missing out as tech talent chooses English cities

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Edinburgh’s tech appeal is under pressure (pic: Terry Murden)

Edinburgh looks set to lose out to Manchester as the city of choice for tech talent looking to leave London.

The Scottish capital’s much-vaunted reputation as a tech magnet is under pressure according to a survey of 1,000 technology workers who named Manchester as the top choice outside London (22%) to work in, with a fifth (20%) saying it would be their preferred location to set up a tech business.

It was well ahead of Birmingham on 11% with Edinburgh favoured by only 8%.

In the same survey, by CW Jobs, 505 IT decision makers also placed Manchester as the best location to set up a tech business, with over a quarter (27%) choosing the city.

London is set to be hit with a mass exodus of tech talent, as three-quarters (75%) of its tech workers revealed they are likely to relocate within the next three years because of high house prices.

The cost of living is considered the largest factor (52%) for those likely to relocate, ahead of getting on the property ladder (32%) and facing too much travel (30%). 

Jolt to Edinburgh – boost to home working

When it comes down to travel and commuting, more tech workers are looking outside of the already established London tech bubble and are calling for policies to work from anywhere they want.

In fact, even before the covid-19 outbreak, two-thirds (66%) of tech workers revealed they would accept a job that was based over two hours from where they lived if they could work remotely/flexibly. Half (49%) would take a pay cut to be allowed to work from home. 

The survey may be a jolt to Edinburgh’s ambitions as a technology magnet and will also encourage firms to commit more to remote working policies in order to attract and keep talent.

Dominic Harvey, director at CWJobs comments: “The UK’s tech talent scene is set to see a dramatic shift in the next few years with workers believing the grass is greener outside the capital.

“These results suggest there is a growing call from tech workers for a better work-life balance and they’re prepared to up sticks and move to achieve it.

“The current situation has shown that with the advancements in technology, location is no longer the barrier it once was in limiting where people can work from.

“Moving forward, remote working policies will become the new-normal, opening a wider field of talent for companies to access across the UK than ever before.”



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