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Newcastle IT sector salaries boom as digital skills shortages bite

IT sector salaries in Newcastle have boomed over the past six years, making it the fourth highest-paying region for technology skills in the UK. 

That’s according to new research from SJD Accountancy, based on an analysis of data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). It suggests that IT specialists in the North East can now expect to earn an average of around £40,559 a year.

In 2012, this figure was £33,225 – representing a rise of 22 per cent. Meanwhile, the average salaries for IT professionals working in London grew by 8.9 per cent, rising from £45,930 to £50,000.

Finding the right tech talent in Newcastle is becoming increasingly difficult, forcing businesses to offer more money and other benefits

The North East follows behind London, the South East and the East of England in terms of salaries, whereas just six years ago the North East offered one of the lowest rates of pay for IT specialists. 

SJD Accountancy claims that technology salaries in Newcastle have increased thanks to growing software development, technical support, and the gaming and creative industries.

SJD Accountancy CEO Derek Kelly suggested that the city is quickly overcoming the digital skills shortages.

“The continuing success of the North East over the last five years has made it one of the most expensive regions for tech talent in the entire country,” he said.

“Finding the right tech talent in Newcastle is becoming increasingly difficult, forcing businesses to offer more money and other benefits.

“As permanent vacancies become harder to fill, the use of contractors to plug skills gaps is increasing. Many IT professionals prefer to work as contractors, and in a candidate tight market, they have more bargaining power to turn permanent jobs into contractor roles.”

The long-term presence of Sage in Newcastle gave start-ups a ready-made skills base to tap into

Kelly believes that the North is becoming the UK’s technology powerhouse. “When people think of the tech sector in the North, Manchester is usually the first city that comes to mind, but in many respects the rise of Newcastle has been more impressive,” he said

“IT professionals in the North East earned £3,000 per annum less than their counterparts in the North West in 2012. On average they now earn £2,000 more, which is a stunning reversal in such a short period of time.”

He added: “The long-term presence of Sage in Newcastle gave start-ups a ready-made skills base to tap into. As demand for tech skills has increased, the local talent pool has dried up, which is pushing up pay.

“The shortage of tech skills in the North East increasingly has the potential to hamper growth. While the relatively low cost of property is a compensatory factor, for tech businesses talent is king.”

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