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Market Intelligence: Talent in Tech

The Market Intelligence workshop series aims to share and increase awareness of industry-specific opportunities and challenges with a focus on future-proofing the talent needs of local businesses.

MIT in Tech workshop group
Market Intelligence: Talent in Tech workshop group

This support is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund

In May 2019, Nottingham Trent University (NTU) hosted the first in a series of sector-focused market intelligence workshops beginning with Market Intelligence: Talent in Tech.

Please note: Sources for all data cited in this article can be found in this presentation.

The workshop, delivered by Gradconsult, saw in-depth discussions and dialogue between representatives of tech companies across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, alongside members of the NTU Employability team and our School Employability Manager.

The workshop covered:

  • the statement of the graduate market nationally and locally
  • an overview of the tech graduate job market
  • challenges faced by SMEs in recruitment and retention
  • how NTU can work with local businesses to help address these issues and ensure our talent pipeline meets the future needs of the industry

The local jobs market offers lots of opportunity for SMEs

  • Nottingham comes in at the 7th-best UK city for disposable income when comparing graduate starting salaries to cost of living
  • Derby tops the table in the same study due to the area's high number of well-paid jobs in manufacturing and engineering
  • The East Midlands has the lowest proportion of residents with a degree, leading to a higher demand for skills and lots of opportunity.

Businesses can apply and champion these messages through their attraction and recruitment of talent in the area, collaborating with NTU to help further advance prosperity and opportunity within the city.

The tech graduate market – key stats and myths busted

  • 48% of final year students are still undecided on their future career and are therefore open to influence from businesses
  • While the perception is that a high proportion of graduates will be drawn to London. The majority – 69% – stay in their home region to study, or return to their home region after studying
  • London is the only city in the UK with an oversupply of graduates
  • There is a massive gender disparity in tech, with less than 20% of professionals being women, compared to 58% across all subjects
  • Nottingham Tech 1000 is a local action plan to raise attainment in functional digital skills and create 1,000 additional outputs for the city through jobs and apprenticeships

NTU is heavily invested in ensuring success and opportunities are available for all; we run many events and projects for organisations to engage with in order to explore options to drive a diverse workforce, including our upcoming Thinkclusive event on 26 June. Email for more information on how to get involved.

MIT in Tech challenges
The group identified a number of shared challenges

The recruitment challenges in tech

  • There are currently 600,000 tech vacancies in the UK, which is projected to rise to 1m by 2020
  • There is a significant gender disparity with the tech sectors, with women making up just 17% of professionals
  • The industry relies on EU citizens to fill around 180,000 jobs in the sector, significantly complicated by the impact of Brexit

Managing directors and HR professionals from across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire shared their own challenges in the local market, with the most common being:

  • the mindset of graduates is a big challenge, with many wanting to only work on high-profile or high-impact projects and don't see their added value outside of that
  • due to the fast-moving nature of the industry, continuing professional development (CPD) is a big challenge
  • SMEs often find it difficult to absorb graduates due to their internal structures and pressures
  • SMEs can find it difficult to scale-up and find invested new employees that share the same ethos as the initial workforce
  • the 'graduate job conundrum' of businesses wanting experience, but graduates not being given a chance to get it
  • a lack of awareness from businesses about how to engage with graduates and the benefits of doing so
  • the disconnect between how SMEs advertise jobs and what graduates are looking for

The NTU talent pool: how we can help meet SME needs

  • NTU currently has 973 tech undergraduate and postgraduate students in 2018/19 academic year cohort
  • These come from a range of degree discipline clusters including computer science, computer systems, information technology and data science
  • There is a huge range of postgraduate course provision for those looking for more specialist skills
  • Over two-thirds of graduates are employed as IT or telecoms professionals six months after graduation

Following the workshop we asked each business to complete an interactive 'graduate attraction plan' that focuses on capturing their individual growth plans, recruitment challenges, attraction methods for diversifying their workforce to meet sought-after skills and attributes.

Through this, SMEs have the unique opportunity to feed into the NTU curriculum and help design the courses we deliver at NTU. We also make tailored recommendations to each business, and use the data to tailor our communication and support, alongside delivery of a future talent attraction strategy for them to implement.

Businesses can engage with NTU and target tech students through on-campus activity such as degree shows, panel sessions and live projects. Organisations can also contact the Employability team at NTU to talk about their recruitment strategy. Email for more information.

NTU currently has 973 tech undergraduate and postgraduate students expected to graduate in the 2018/19 academic year

The Market Intelligence: Talent in Tech workshop was the first in a series of workshops to be delivered in 2019 and 2020.

The full programme of workshops are:

Workshops are invite-only, but you will be able to find articles such as these covering each sector on the NTU website.

Find out more about how NTU supports SMEs

If you have any questions about any of the above, or want to enquire about engaging with NTU as a business, please get in touch.

You can contact us via any of the below channels.

The GRADS for D2N2 project is part-funded by the European Social Fund and is part of the High Level Skills programme. The programme is delivered by NTU as part of the High Level Skills consortium, which also includes Derby College, Nottingham College, the University of Derby and Nottingham City Council.