Accenture is creating 3,000 tech roles in the UK as its customers look to tech to take advantage of the post-pandemic economic recovery.
The plan adds hard evidence that businesses are investing in IT services again after a Covid-19-induced lull.
Half of the new jobs will be London-based, with the remainder spread across northern England and Scotland in Newcastle, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Over the next three years, the IT outsourcing giant will create roles core to digital transformation, from cloud engineers to cyber security, data and intelligent operations experts.
The new jobs will take Accenture’s workforce to 14,000. The company has 624,000 staff globally.
Simon Eaves, market unit lead at Accenture UK, said the UK economy was recovering following the pandemic, and it was seeing rising demand from its clients. “We are committed to growing our footprint across the UK, which is why I am particularly excited about our plans across Scotland and northern England where we see some of the best technology talent in the country,” he said.
Accenture is often regarded a bellwether for the IT services sector, and the announcement of new roles is a sign that businesses are releasing pent-up demand for IT services. In June 2020, it cut 900 jobs in the UK as a result of the economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Global business volumes collapsed during lockdowns, including in the UK, as large multinationals put major projects on hold.
According to ISG, enterprises spent a record $21.8bn on IT and IT-enabled business services in the third quarter of 2021, as economies reopened and businesses accelerated digital transformations.
Simon Eaves, Accenture UK
Cloud-based services are fuelling growth, the research and advisory firm found in its latest global figures. ISG said cloud-as-a-service contracts were worth a total of $13.4bn during the quarter – 55% higher than in the same period last year.
Meanwhile, it reported a 40% increase in the total value of more traditional IT outsourcing, known as managed services, at $8.4bn.
Mark Lewis, a senior consultant at Macfarlanes who specialises in IT outsourcing contracts, said clients were ramping up their IT services spending. “We are seeing increased demand for IT services,” he said.
This, according to Lewis, is caused by a combination of digital transformations and skills shortages. “There is a surge in businesses digitising, whatever that means to them, as well as the apparent shortage of skills in IT development and delivery,” he said.
Shaheen Sayed, technology lead at Accenture in the UK, said the pandemic showed how technology underpins the transformation that its clients are undertaking. “I’m hugely excited to welcome future generations of talent to our team during a fantastic time to work in technology as it redefines how we live and work,” she said.
Meanwhile, UK business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said the announcement was a vote of confidence in the UK.