South West Tech set for hiring surge

Photo shows: Payaca, based in central Bristol, has developed job management software and secured £400K funding in June
Bristol Fintech company payaca

A survey of more than 300 leaders of South West tech SMEs has revealed the extent of the sector’s resilience throughout the pandemic;

The research, commissioned by Bristol-based Antidote Communications, in conjunction with TechSpark, saw 49 per cent of surveyed tech business leaders including founders and MDs, report an increase in sales compared to pre-pandemic levels. 95 per cent of tech leaders said their business was at least as healthy as it was pre-pandemic, and more than half said their company was doing better than before the COVID-19 crisis.

Many sectors, particularly hospitality and high-street retail, have struggled over the past 15 months, whereas the tech sector has experienced growth. As businesses have had to move online, the sector has undoubtedly benefited. 63 per cent of leaders’ businesses are 100 per cent digital, and nearly one third have SaaS products or services.

Fintech and deep-tech are the most prevalent sectors for tech firms, accounting for 17 per cent and 14 per cent respectively of the sample. However, the diversity of sectors, from gaming to AI and artech to Robotics, is a testament to the region’s strength.

Patrick Fraser, Antidote Communications MD, said: “These findings highlight a tremendous degree of confidence throughout the South West’s digital economy and indicate that the next twelve months may be the most fruitful yet for the region’s tech sector. The pandemic certainly presented challenges, but the tech cluster is now looking more robust than ever. It’s an exciting time for the entire region as this growth looks set to translate into more jobs, prosperity and innovation across the Southwest.”

Ben Shorrock, Managing Director, TechSPARK UK, added: “Tech has become central to everyone’s lives during the last 18 months. Although there have been many challenges it’s heartening to see that organisation are flourishing and will be creating more jobs, growth and opportunities across the Southwest.”