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Technology jobs to grow in London and South East at expense of regions

Words: Huw Morris
Tech / iStock-547419538

London and the South East’s dominance for technology jobs will grow even further after Brexit – leading to fresh concerns how the regions can avoid a brain drain.

A study by economic development consultancy Emsi and education charity EDT investigates which jobs are projected to grow over the next five years, and compares them to the areas of the country where these roles are already concentrated.

Technology is set to witness the biggest growth of job numbers when the UK leaves the EU. However, as the sector is already concentrated in London and the South East, this would result in more jobs in these areas, with little increase in the rest of the UK.

This is likely to draw young people with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills away from other regions, resulting in an ever-greater brain drain, say the consultants.

“Those of us who are working to prepare young people for employment in the Fourth Industrial Revolution need to think carefully about the trends this reveals,” said EDT chief executive Julie Feest.

“At first sight, to equip young people for the new jobs that will be available in coming years, it seems obvious to give them experiences of industry which help them seize opportunities in tech.

“However, if London and the South East continue to dominate in tech, then we can expect to continue to see the brightest and best of our young people head to those regions for employment, rather than staying to fuel the economy in their region of origin.

“If they don’t compete in tech, then regions away from London and the South East might be best advised to give young people experiences of industry in other growing STEM industry sectors in which their area has an advantage,” she added.

“Doing this would enable local industry to grab its opportunity to attract local talent as well as keeping able people in the local economy.”

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