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First ever Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Digital Skills Report reveals top nine most in demand tech jobs available in the region

Date: 6 Jul

Cornish tech firms offer higher than average UK salaries for web developer and software tester roles

Cornwall is home to the fastest growing tech sector in the South West with a forecasted 17.9 percent growth by 2026. Hidden behind the picturesque landscapes is over 1,460 digital organisations driving the success of Cornwall and Isles of Scilly’s (CIoS’s) technology sector and creating some of the most sought after tech jobs in the UK according to a recent report commissioned by the CIoS Digital Skills Partnership.  

For the first time, the Digital Skills Report shines a light on CIoS’s vibrant, supportive digital and tech sector but also highlights the recruitment crisis facing the industry that is showing no sign of slowing. The report also reveals the significant growing shortage of software engineers, developers and programmers in the CIoS region despite the Cornish tech sector offering higher than the average UK wage for the positions. 

The top nine in demand tech jobs available in the CIoS region are:

  1. Software developer / Software Engineer: Designs and builds computer programmes.
  2. Computer support specialist: Diagnoses and solves software and hardware problems for computer users.
  3. Web developer: Uses programming languages to create and maintain websites and web services.
  4. Network engineer: Designs, implements and maintains the way data is transferred across digital and telecommunications networks.
  5. IT project manager: Oversees the development and installation of computer hardware and software.
  6. Data Analyst: Collects numbers and statistics to identify trends, create models and present results.
  7. Programmer: Narrower focus than a software developer, focuses on building and testing. 
  8. Software tester: Analyses software and systems to overcome risks and prevent issues.
  9. Information security specialist: Protects client’s data from unauthorised access, theft, and misuse. 

While there are reports available on the national skills shortage and to some extent, at the South-West level, there has not been data available specifically for the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP region. This data is critical to help develop future strategies and programmes to support the region’s employers in fulfilling the skills gap locally. 

Councillor Louis Gardner, Portfolio holder for Economy at Cornwall Council, said, “This is the first time we’ve had this type of insightful regional data to better help us manage the widening digital skills gap in the CIoS region. While there are already interventions in place, there is still a serious imbalance in the skills demanded versus the skill sets we have in the talent pipeline to overcome the current deficit. For that reason, this report is incredibly important to make sure we are working in the right way with the community and businesses to support them in getting the best workforce available to do the jobs they need.”     

“The CIoS digital and tech sector is busier than ever but there is a serious imbalance in the skills needed to fill the top nine tech jobs revealed in this report versus skills in the talent pipeline currently,” comments Councillor Richard Pears, Portfolio holder for Customers. “We already have programmes in place to help reduce the skills gap, but what this report highlights is the need to further develop those interventions to ensure the local talent pool meets the needs of local employers.” 

Councillor Barbara Ellenbroek, Portfolio holder for Children and Families at Cornwall Council, said; “There has never been a better time for getting a job in digital and tech in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and we want to do everything we can to help young people be able to really embrace these opportunities. To help them understand the potential career paths that can open up to them along the way, we’ll be looking to increase outreach to schools and co-development blended learning programmes in colleges to help promote those digital and tech careers to young people. Plus, support of local apprenticeship schemes to make sure they are fit for purpose. This all will help decrease that digital skills gap for the future.”  

Gary Coyle, Head of Local Engagement, Local Digital Skills Partnership at The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), comments; “The findings from the CIoS Digital Skills Report will help inform more impactful decision making when working with local employers to create a more effective plan to overcome the current digital skills gap challenges. It is important that we all create digital skills interventions that not only work UK wide, but also work on a local level to support regional talent. Creating more tailored regional programmes will encourage the next generation of digital experts to train locally, stay local and continue the future success of Cornwall’s tech industry.”