London’s rise to prominence as a global leader in digital technology has been tremendous.
It has an unrivalled reputation for digital technology innovation and quality. More than a third of Europe’s tech unicorns (companies valued at over $1 billion) are headquartered in the capital. London currently has 14 of Europe’s 47 unicorns, which is more than double the amount of the next closest country. According to Deloitte’s latest report (London: enabling a world-leading digital hub, 2022), London’s technology, media, and telecommunication sector (TMT) supports 8% (around 125 billion Pounds) of the UK’s Gross Domestic Output. Moreover, the technology, media, and telecommunication sector (TMT) is more productive than the average industry in London as far as the economic value per worker is concerned, with technology accounting for at most £51 000 per annum, media accounting for £55800 per annum and Telecomms accounting for £116 200 per annum. According to Deloitte, the TMT activity in London has led to £77 billion of economic impact for the rest of the UK through the direct creation of economic activity.
According to Deloitte’s report; the limited impacts of employment and expenditure account for half of London TMT’s economic contribution, while wide effects account for the remaining. The latter are derived from ICT and advertising’s responsibilities in propelling the economy. The £50 million UCL Technology Fund was established in January 2016 to invest in intellectual property from Imperial College London, while the £40 million Apollo Therapeutics Fund was established in the same month in collaboration with the Universities of Cambridge and Imperial College London. The first 20 firms to join King’s College London’s new accelerator programme have been revealed, while food tech start-ups have benefited from the launch of Just Eat’s new accelerator programme.
London serves as an economic engine for the rest of the United Kingdom. The London TMT sector’s £26 billion direct economic effect (Gross Value Added) generates an extra £23 billion in economic contribution for London and £77 billion for the rest of the UK. The benefit to the rest of the UK is made up of £30 billion in purchases and employee spending in the London TMT industry, as well as £47 billion in broader effects.
Below are reasons why London is still a sweet spot for Tech Jobs;
A number of factors are cited as important, including transportation links, TMT infrastructure, the availability of a skilled labour force, consumer proximity, and the presence of similar organisations, though it should be noted that many entrepreneurs were already in London and did not need to be attracted (but instead retained).
Government backing and access to funding were the least essential variables. This should be interpreted with caution. It does not imply that tech companies do not value government assistance and access to finance to attract tech talent, but rather that present levels of assistance and access to finance in London were not decisive factors influencing the location of the firm. Other reasons given for choosing London as a commercial destination include its reputation, the presence of the City of London, East London’s socially diverse and diversified culture, and the fact that London is already a media centre.
London’s standing is unquestionable. However, as the digital revolution sweeps the globe, the city must not be slow to capitalise. This entails building on previous accomplishments and realising the full potential of the city’s infrastructure, cultural capital, and financial resources. The city is the obvious engine for the UK’s digital creative strategy, but success will be seen throughout the country, particularly in other significant cities. However, work must be done to both promote the activities of the business community to attract tech talent and provide the resources that may catalyse sustainable growth. It’s also important to note that, Universities in the United Kingdom are very scholarly. They must be better integrated with employers, and skills employability must be embedded into the curriculum. Education expenditures in places such as Silicon Valley may have looked impossible or hazardous at the time, but they have been a significant driver of the hub’s success to attract venture capital as well as top talent.