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One in Three London Startups Suffer from Shortage in Tech Talent

A new survey among more than 100 founders of London tech startups, conducted by Studio Graphene in partnership with City Road Communications, has revealed the main staffing challenges and concerns that are holding back London tech companies.

It found:

  • 33% of the founders believe there is a shortage of skilled tech workers in London
  • Worryingly, 30% also say their growth has been hampered as a result of them not being able to hire the right employees
  • Finding people who fit the startup culture was also cited as a major issue:
    • 39% of founders of London tech businesses say it is hard to find people who have the right mind-set and work ethic to be employed in a startup
    • Furthermore, 35% state that it is hard for startups to lure the best talent away from larger companies
  • Elsewhere, 11% of London tech startups say UK immigration and visa laws have prevented them from hiring the individuals they wanted

Dubbed Europe’s ‘digital capital’, there are now more than 187,000 tech companies in London that employ 1.2 million people and have a combined turnover of £285 billion. The exponential growth of London’s tech sector has largely been driven by an influx of new startups – it is reported that a new tech business is formed every hour in the city.

However, amidst such impressive growth, new research by Studio Graphene and City Road Communications has shown that a large proportion of London’s tech startups are now being held back by a lack of skilled technology workers in the capital.

Based on a survey of more than 100 founders of London tech startups, the study found that a third (33%) of the entrepreneurs quizzed believe there is a shortage of skilled tech workers in London. What’s more, 30% also say their growth has been hampered as a result of not being able to hire the right employees.

As well as there being a dearth of people with the right skills, struggles to find people who can embrace the startup culture was cited as another issue. Two fifths (39%) of founders of London tech businesses say it is hard to find people who have the right mind-set and work ethic to be employed in a startup. Furthermore, 35% state that it is hard for startups to lure the best talent away from larger companies

Elsewhere, 11% of London tech startups say UK immigration and visa laws have prevented them from hiring the individuals they wanted.

Studio Graphene and City Road Communications collaborated on the project to shed some light on London’s much-revered tech startup community – the survey was carried out in May 2018.

Dominic Pollard, Director of City Road Communications, commented on the findings: “The exponential growth in the number of tech startups emerging across London has made competition for talent extremely high. In particular, the shortage of people who have the right skills and, importantly, work ethic to join fast-growing tech businesses has become a cause for concern – it is clearly something that the public and private sectors must come together to try and address in the coming years.”

Ritam Gandhi, Founder and Director of Studio Graphene, added: “Today, London’s startups face a choice when looking to access the technical skills they need: do they hire or outsource? The answer will depend on the size, culture and finances of each business, but it is vital that entrepreneurs consider both options to find the most practical, efficient and cost effective solution to help their company grow.”

About Studio Graphene
Studio Graphene plans, designs and builds blank canvas technology products. The agency is focused on helping startups navigate the journey from conceptualising an idea that they are passionate about to making it a commercial reality. Its focus and technical capability is in two key areas: mobile and web application development, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

About City Road Communications
City Road Communications is a PR, marketing and communications agency specialising in launching and building brands. Based in Old Street, the firm works closely with high-growth tech start-ups alongside established SMEs, ensuring they gain mass exposure in both national and trade press to support their long-term commercial growth.

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