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Foreword

Founding Chief Executive, Tech Nation

Gerard Grech

In a year of so much change, there is often some comfort to be found in consistency. For us, perhaps the most reassuring has been the consistent growth in confidence and investment into UK tech - reaching £55bn between January 2020 and June 2022. This has led to an overall sector valuation approaching $1 Trillion as we go to print. Staggering growth at a time of such challenge is really something to be celebrated and is something the UK should be proud of. 

With such growth ambition and capability, the second trend we consistently encounter is the global and domestic race for talent. Organisations desperate to grow and scale are increasingly finding aggressive competition when it comes to hiring. In our recent People & Skills report, it was noted that job opportunities in tech are at a 10-year high all over the UK. Whilst on the one hand this is encouraging as it demonstrates a strong and growing tech infrastructure across every UK region, it does demonstrate that the need for outside talent has never been greater. 

The UK is not alone in this either. As we emerge into a post-COVID world, with tech playing an ever-increasing role in how we live our professional and personal lives, so too is it impacting where lives are being lived. There is not only more flexibility than ever but an ever-expanding network of tech clusters, far beyond the traditional London, Tokyo, Silicon Valley or Bangalore to the likes of Lagos, Lahore, Geneva and Dulles. 

Globally, tech professionals have never been more in-demand, nor have they ever had more choice about where they can operate from. As a result, even with our buoyant, well-funded and diverse ecosystem, the UK cannot afford to be complacent in our pursuit of international talent. We have to continue to bang the drum harder than ever, to be more welcoming than ever, to ensure UK tech remains a beacon for incredible talent from all over the world.  Their exceptional skills, cultures and talents will continue to enrich the sector significantly - in both expected and surprising ways.

Over the past 12 months the Tech Nation Visa team has taken a deep dive into our existing Global Talent Visa alumni network - now over 1600 members strong - with a view towards fundamentally changing the way we talk about and position the Visa. Since 2017, when we launched our Visa Alumni network, it has always been important to us to showcase and represent the incredible people using the Tech Nation visa as a stepping stone to success -  adopting a ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ mentality.  With so many opportunities and ecosystems for talent to tap into, it is vital for us to tell the incredible stories of those who have come before, to guide those who wish to follow.  

In order to tell the story of the Global Talent Visa through those that have it, it seemed only right that we use our Visa Report this year to go one step further than simply storytelling, to truly celebrate the impact global talent is already having on the UK. We also look ahead to the exciting role it plays in our future as a Tech Nation. That’s why we’re delighted to be announcing our Faces of Visa keynote feature within this report and telling the unique stories of current visa holders who are trail-blazing in their respective roles.

We are indebted to the exceptionally talented tech employees and founders who have come to the UK from across the world. The UK’s future is tech, and with the help of even more incredible global talent to come, we will continue to be the number one choice for businesses to start, scale and stay. Through this report, we hope to inform and inspire more people to consider the UK as their next, welcoming home.

 

Our partners

Senior Associate, Fragomen LLP

John Kiely

Fragomen LLP are proud to be co-headline sponsor of the Tech Nation Visa Report 2022. It is clear from the report that 2021 and 2022 have continued to confirm what we already knew – the Global Talent Visa is a vital ally and an unquestionable success story for the UK’s tech sector.

The Tech Nation Visa continues to offer unparalleled flexibility to tech professionals – both business and technical – wishing to establish themselves in UK tech. Whether you’re looking to work for a tech firm, establish your own business or grow an existing one, it provides individuals and their families with a solid foundation to flourish. It is wonderful to see so many of these people celebrated and justifiably acknowledged in this year’s report for their work and contribution to the country they now call home.

A key standout of this year’s report is the scale of opportunity for international talent from across the globe in the UK. With investment in the first half of 2022 topping $16bn, we look to be on track for another record-breaking year for UK tech growth. We continue to surpass our European neighbours in France, Germany, and the Nordics. With such sharp growth comes the ever-growing demand for talent, exceeding local supply in every region. Though we have said it many times before, there truly has never been a better time to consider working in UK tech.

As Tech Nation’s long-standing immigration partner, it is truly a pleasure to observe the increasingly important role the Tech Nation Visa plays in the continued success of the UK’s tech sector. The route continues to provide efficient and straightforward access to the UK for exceptionally talented leaders and future leaders. It has been wonderful to see so many endorsed applications in the first half of 2022, 491– a record for any 6-month period in the Visa’s history.

At Fragomen, we support not only individuals, but start-ups, scale-ups and some of the world’s largest companies with all of their immigration needs. We operate locally in over 80 countries and offer our services across the world. No matter where you come from or what you do, Fragomen is here to support your ambitions to work in UK tech via the Tech Nation Visa and we look forward to another incredible 12 months ahead.

File:HSBC UK logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons

Director, UK Tech Sector & Growth Lending, HSBC UK

Anna O'Brien

We are delighted to be co-headline sponsor for the Tech Nation Visa Report 2022. As well as supporting many HSBC UK businesses operating in the tech sector, globally HSBC employs 220,000 people - 10% of which are proudly working within tech.

As one of the world’s leading international banks we are enabling people and businesses to manage their finances whenever and wherever they want. We process billions of dollars of customer payments on our global apps every month. We are powering global supply chains and making them more sustainable. We’ve already completed blockchain transactions involving millions of dollars’ worth of goods. AI and machine learning has enabled us to scan 8 billion transactions per year, to prevent money laundering and financial crime and we’re investing billions to make it all happen. We employ thousands of proudly curious, energetic, creative, and inclusive tech specialists who are passionate about using digital technology to build banking for the future. For HSBC UK top talent is the key to unlocking all these great achievements.

What’s perhaps most exciting about this year’s report is the continued dispersion of incredible tech businesses, sectors, and talent right across the UK. The days of the UK’s tech sector being firmly within the M25 are most certainly over. Each region is now home to at least 1 unicorn and with regional speciality showing itself, from AI and Machine Learning in Manchester to Agri-tech in Scotland and the South West, to ed-tech and med-tech in the Midlands. This year’s report suggests that more businesses are transitioning to digital and therefore greater tech skills will be required in the future to satisfy the need for businesses to grow further.

As industry specialists, we have already seen this unique fast-growing tech sector move from strength to strength over the years and have recently launched next-level lending, for next-level Tech firms. For high-growth Tech scale ups that have a clear path to profitability, strong equity backing and a proven sales track record, HSBC UK can support with our new Growth Lending debt facility.

Another focus in this year’s report was on the increasing numbers of successful female entrepreneurs and tech professionals. As an organisation we are closely aligned with the unique challenges posed to women in the sector through initiatives such as our ROAR programme, we are continuing to break down barriers for female entrepreneurs and women in STEAM. It has therefore been incredibly exciting to read about the increasing number of women across the globe choosing the UK to build strong careers and businesses. Furthermore, to see a representation of almost 50% within the Faces of Visa feature, with female contributions across the sample totalling an economic contribution of £200.5m. 

We are excited and delighted with the report’s findings, which position the UK and UK tech to be a welcoming force for innovation, inclusivity and most importantly for growth. We look forward to continuing to support UK tech businesses to flourish, with exceptional global talent within their ranks and we look forward to welcoming even more talented professionals, founders, mentors and leaders for many years to come. Having the best talent in the UK is a key element of the UK long term tech success story.


 

Celebrating global talent

Data and Research Director, Tech Nation

Dr. George Windsor

In the next year alone we expect to see UK tech startups and scaleups cumulatively valued at over $1.3 trillion; up from $53.6 billion ten years ago, raising over $50 billion in venture capital investment; up from $1.9 billion in 2012, and employing over 5 million people in the UK from 2.18 million just a few years ago. 

The growth we have seen over the last ten years in the tech economy is astounding. We are confident in its ability to create more high quality jobs, generate opportunities for local economic growth and augmented prosperity, and solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

This growth, however, would not be possible without people. The heart and soul of a tech company, as well as the minds and the muscle; developing ideas and (through hard work and determination) bring them to fruition. And the UK has benefited greatly from our openness to top global tech talent.

For tech scaleups, talent continues to be a defining factor in their accelerated growth. 

Getting the right mix of people, investment, infrastructure, and a healthy dose of good timing, will always be a challenge faced by firms looking to bring something innovative into the world. As Tech Nation, we are privileged to support scaling leaders to tackle these challenges, and proud to play our part in operating the Tech Nation Global Talent Visa, allowing the UK to welcome highly skilled global tech talent with open arms.

In this report we firstly hope you will find many energising stories, essential nuggets of information, and most importantly, amazing people. You’ll read about, and hear from people who have made the UK their home - to live and work - and in doing so, delivered incredible impact. Secondly, we hope you will join us in celebrating the talent that makes UK tech as vital as it is, preparing the country for a future which will be won or lost on the basis of innovation excellence and sustainability. Finally, we hope you’ll find inspiration. We want you to embrace the UK as your tech destination of choice - a Tech Nation that is, more than ever, open for business.

 

Key statistics

Global Tech Talent

  • UK tech scale ups with at least one non-UK founder represent 18% of the entire market 
  • These scaleups raised almost 23% of all VC investment (£8bn) in 2021 
  • Almost 25% of global talent visa holders are founders, with the majority in senior positions within UK tech companies
  • With such a diverse tech ecosystem, the UK is an attractive proposition for international investors, with 73% of investment into the UK coming from overseas
  • The UK is third behind only the US and China for the number of unicorns (organisations valued at $1bn or more) at 125, with a combined worth of $542bn
  • Investment in deep technologies has risen 33x in the last decade 
  • Overall sector valuation has risen over 50x in that time, approaching $1tn as of July 2022

The Future of Global Talent in the UK

  • There are 2m more people working in tech in 2022 than there were in 2019, with 5m roles.
  • 36% of these are non-technical roles, such as operations, sales or PR 
  • 40% of Tech Nation Visa endorsees (1200) are non-technical, tech professionals
  • The number of female applicants to the Tech Nation Visa rose by 17% from 2020/21 to 2021/22
  • The number of tech vacancies across the UK has risen by 20% in the past year, to 181,000 active roles in May 2022
  • 80,000 of these roles were in Manchester and the North West regions of England

Looking to the Future

  • There have never been as many working options or locations for the global talent pool 
  • The UK has to continue to work as hard as it has been to attract highly skilled tech professionals 
  • There needs to be as much focus on global talent retention as there is on global talent attraction 
  • The UK presents one of the most organically supportive and robust ecosystems, with the Global Talent Visa providing a route to meaningfully access this, learn, grow and build a life on a professional and personal level
 

Global tech talent

The role of global talent is more established than ever. Tech companies run by at least one non-UK founder now represent 18% of all UK tech scaleups and raised nearly £8bn investment in 2021 - around 23% of all investment into the UK tech ecosystem. 

Over the last decade, UK companies like Deliveroo, Monzo, Improbable and Depop have been started, funded and scaled by driven entrepreneurs and investors. The ecosystem has evolved significantly since the birth of many of these firms, and is now proud to be home to a new wave of world-changing tech firms.

An essential component of building a sustainable, and healthy tech economy is openness, and the UK has been fortunate to have many world leading founders call this country home. 

Companies with at least one non-UK founder are making a significant contribution to the UK tech ecosystem, not least with the profound volumes of investment being attracted into the country. For the UK to remain a vibrant and successful tech ecosystem, talented tech professionals - from founders to skilled software developers - will be needed. 

With more than 2500 visa holders, over a quarter of those endorsed for the Tech Nation visa have their own company, whilst the majority are high value employees in UK tech firms - driving the sector forward.

From Data scientists to Business development leads, the Tech Nation visa offers an opportunity for talented people from across the world to work in one of the world’s largest, and fastest growing tech economies. Second only to the US in the first quarter of 2022, venture capital investment is fuelling employer demand for tech talent - and over 2mn vacancies were recorded last year. 

With such a buoyant and diverse set of skills within the sector, international investment into UK tech firms is growing. In 2022 around 73% of investment into high growth firms was from investors based outside of the UK, up from 71% in 2021 - a record year for UK tech which reached a record total of £34.16bn.

Since 2010, investment from outside the UK has steadily increased - not without some fluctuation. International investment reached a peak in 2019, at 71% of total VC investment before dropping by 8% in 2020. Last year, these extra-domestic investment levels reached that level again 71% of the total VC funding pot, and in 2022 the trend of investment internationalisation looks set to deepen, currently sitting at 73% of the total investment figure into tech.

The global nature of UK tech investment creates unique opportunities for the growth of companies started, and scaling here. Access to world class investment opportunities is as close as a fellow founder away, providing knowledge and routes to international expansion.

Over the past few years, the UK has positioned itself as the global meeting place for diverse talent and significant investment appetite. As a direct result, it is perhaps not surprising that there are now 125+ tech unicorns in the UK. These companies, valued at over $1bn dollars, represent a cumulative value of $542bn as of July 2022. 

The UK is home to the third most valuable tech economy in the world - behind only the US and China. In part, this is owed to the creation of scores of these tech unicorns and decacorns (valued at or over $10bn). These firms are in a wide range of industries, from healthtech to fintech, and energy tech to deep tech.

 These industries, both established and emerging, all enjoy a significant amount of investor and sector confidence, presenting significant growth and career opportunities both for domestic and global talent. 

UK deep tech investment has increased 33x since 2011, topping $8.8bn in 2021 where megarounds of over $250mn contributed heavily to the total - the UK continues to be a global leader in new, innovative technology development and application.

Deep tech is an umbrella term given to R&D intensive, cutting edge technologies, it includes quantum computing, VR and AR, and machine learning and artificial intelligence to name a few.

Deep Technology scaleups push the boundaries of research and science, and bring highly technical endeavours to the market. Firms are often spun out of academic institutions and have complex patent portfolios to protect their intellectual property. The UK has developed a global leadership position in deep tech incubation, investment and exit activity over recent years, leading to this part of the tech economy being valued at $209.4bn in 2022.

The UK tech ecosystem is valued just under $1tn in 2022, around 17x the value ten years ago ($53.6bn), whilst the scaleup ecosystem is valued over 50x more than a decade ago.

This valuation is undeniably impressive and unquestionably a hallmark of the quality of skills within the sector already. As previously mentioned, this level of success to position the UK third only behind the USA and China is not only justifiable recognition of a successful nationwide effort to level up the tech ecosystem, but also a strong indicator of the support mechanisms, innovation-led approaches and exceptional desire for growth embedded within it.

Such indicators are not only good in the short to medium term, but in the long term too offering growth opportunities not only on an organisational level but an individual one. For those looking to learn and grow as people and as professionals, they could do a lot worse than UK tech. 

The future of global talent

There are now just under 5mn people working in UK tech startups and scaleups, an increase from just under 3mn in 2019, and more than double the 2.18mn working in the tech economy in 2011

With this significant increase in people employed in the digital economy, more so than ever, tech has the opportunity to enable for broad based economic growth - through jobs - offering employment for people across a range of tech sectors.

Over 36% of jobs in the digital tech economy are in non tech occupations, like HR, Legal, Finance and Sales; offering opportunities for people from almost every professional background to be a part of this high growth sector.

Tech jobs are more than development roles. Occupations that support the commercialisation, dissemination, and growth of tech products and services are essential for the future of the sector. 

These roles complement and drive forward the performance of tech firms, and sit alongside technical roles in tech companies, which make up just over 30% of jobs. 33% of jobs in the digital tech economy are tech roles that sit outside of the tech sector, for example, a software developer working at a bank, or design studio.

Together, these groups of jobs for the digital tech economy, and engine for growth in the UK economy which inherently relies on the intermeshing of tech and non-tech roles.

Tech vacancies have increased on a month by month basis over the last year, from 145k roles advertised in May 2021 to 181k roles as of May 2022

More than 2mn tech vacancies were advertised over the last year, more than any other area of the UK labour market. 

Tech jobs have reached the top spot for UK hiring from May 2021 to 2022, followed by the likes of Trade and construction, Teaching and Healthcare roles. In part, this boom in hiring is reflective of the growth seen in venture capital investment into UK tech companies in 2021, a 130% increase to just under $41bn. In addition to this, the increasing permeation of tech roles across the economy is leading to a rising tide of tech positions across the labour market.

Outside of London, Manchester leads the field for tech vacancies from May 2021 - May 2022 with nearly 80,000 roles opened by employers

Roles are open across the UK for talented tech professionals; mirroring the successes seen in investment raised, and growth generated by leading companies outside of London and the South East.

Almost 40% of all Tech Nation visa endorsees are working in non-technical, tech roles and over a quarter of people endorsed for a Tech Nation visa are working in emerging areas of UK tech, such as AI, Cybersecurity and Data. 

Fintech continues to be a dominant talent magnet, as well as a draw for international investment, with over 20% of people endorsed working in this UK strength sector.

Fintech represented around 34% of all investment into UK tech in 2021, while areas like healthtech, energy tech and CreaTech have seen burgeoning support from the venture capital community. The sectors represented above are likely a reflection of both demand for talent, and the future direction of UK tech.

 

Select one or more locations

Clear
Russia – London
Russia - London

Yulia Ogoordnikova

Head of Marketing at Tools for Brokers


Sector: FinTech

Visa Granted: 2021

Economic contribution: £8m

Roles created: 2

Russia – London
Russia - London

Yana Abramova

Managing Partner at Pretiosum Ventures


Sector: VC Investment

Visa Granted: 2019

Economic contribution: £1000m

Roles created: 80

Ukraine – Northern Ireland
Ukraine - Northern Ireland

Taras Lanchev

Chief Engineer at Erised


Sector: No Code

Visa Granted: 2020

Economic contribution: £20m

Roles created: 6

100% definitely do it. It is so worth it. UK is a great place to build your startup with a lot of diverse talent from all over the globe!
India – London
India - London

Subhash Ghosh

Founder at Technoplat Ltd


Sector: VC Investment

Visa Granted: 2018

Economic contribution: £75m

Roles created: 15

Hong Kong – South East England
Hong Kong - South East England

Steven Chan

Snr. Principal Product Manager at Oracle


Sector: Data Science

Visa Granted: 2020

Economic contribution: £1.5m

Roles created: 7

India – North West England
India - North West England

Saurabh Doshi

Founder at Virtualness (ex Sr. Director – Meta)


Sector: Metaverse

Visa Granted: 2021

Economic contribution: £280m

Roles created: 27

Belarus – London
Belarus - London

Slaviana Pavlovich

Product Manager at J.P. Morgan


Sector: FinTech

Visa Granted: 2020

Economic contribution: £125m

Roles created: 2

Singapore – London
Singapore - London

Sarveen Chester

Head of International Expansion at Shares


Sector: FinTech

Visa Granted: 2022

Economic contribution: £30m

Roles created: 5

Australia – London
Australia - London

Sarah Gall

Data Scientist at Sarah C Gall Ltd


Sector: Political

Visa Granted: 2021

Economic contribution: N/A

Roles created: 1

India – London
India - London

Sanjana Govil

Data & Digital Manager at Social Finance


Sector: FinTech

Visa Granted: 2019

Economic contribution: £2.5m

Roles created: 5

Russia – London
Russia - London

Pavel Odintsov

Co-Founder and CTO of FastNetMon


Sector: Cyber

Visa Granted: 2021

Economic contribution: £60m

Roles created: 2

India – London
India - London

Nitish Mutha

CTO at Genie AI


Sector: AI / Machine Learning

Visa Granted: 2018

Economic contribution: £600m

Roles created: 25

USA – London
USA - London

Nicole Maltrotti

Marketing at Officely


Sector: HR Tech

Visa Granted: 2021

Economic contribution: £3m

Roles created: 0

Nigeria – London
Nigeria - London

Michael Okaredje

CEO at Pickmeup Technologies


Sector: Transport Logistics

Visa Granted: 2021

Economic contribution: £5m

Roles created: 10

Australia – London
Australia - London

Lisa Gray

CEO at Black Meteor


Sector: Entertainment Tech

Visa Granted: 2016

Economic contribution: £80m

Roles created: 50

USA – London
USA - London

Kaoru Fujita

VP Sales at Omnipresent


Sector: HR Tech

Visa Granted: 2019

Economic contribution: £15000m

Roles created: 1100

Philippines – London
Philippines - London

Jason Torres

Co-Founder at Slerp


Sector: eCommerce

Visa Granted: 2020

Economic contribution: £1200m

Roles created: 36

Spain – London
Spain - London

Hector Alemany Briz

5G Programme Manager at Wayra


Sector: VC Investment

Visa Granted: 2021

Economic contribution: £500m

Roles created: 40

India – London
India - London

Harjas Singh

Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer at Shares


Sector: FinTech

Visa Granted: 2021

Economic contribution: £400m

Roles created: 60

Turkey – South East England
Turkey - South East England

Gokhan Celebi

Chief International Expansion Officer at Early Technologies UK


Sector: EdTech

Visa Granted: 2019

Economic contribution: £50m

Roles created: 36

St. Vincent & The Grenadines – South East England
St. Vincent & The Grenadines - South East England

Gamal Crichton

Senior ML Scientist at Sense St. Ltd


Sector: FinTech

Visa Granted: 2019

Economic contribution: £30m

Roles created: 0

Nigeria – London
Nigeria - London

Funfere B. Koroye

VP of Technology & Engineering at NupayTech


Sector: FinTech

Visa Granted: 2022

Economic contribution: N/A

Roles created: 12

Take your time before you apply, there is no rush. And if you get rejected, don't be afraid to try again!
Nigeria – Midlands
Nigeria - Midlands

Francisca Chiedu Otu

Programmes Director at Citizen Partnership


Sector: VC Investment

Visa Granted: 2021

Economic contribution: £2m

Roles created: 10

Brazil – London
Brazil - London

Fernanda Dobal

CEO at Bia Care


Sector: HealthTech

Visa Granted: 2019

Economic contribution: £165m

Roles created: 52

USA – London
USA - London

Emily Sappington

Director of Product Management at Twilio


Sector: SaaS/AI

Visa Granted: 2017

Roles created: 13

Turkey - London

Didem Cikse

CEO at Hub21


Sector: EdTech

Visa Granted: 2021

Economic contribution: £350m

Roles created: 60

USA – Midlands
USA - Midlands

Devon Geary

Network & Partnerships Manager at Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands


Sector: Tech Infrastructure

Visa Granted: 2020

Economic contribution: £5m

Roles created: 4

Australia – London
Australia - London

Caitlin Rich

Associate Director of Product Design at Freetrade


Sector: FinTech

Visa Granted: 2018

Economic contribution: £10m

Roles created: 12

Egypt – Midlands
Egypt - Midlands

Ashraf Attia

CEO at Predictiva


Sector: AI / Machine Learning

Visa Granted: 2020

Economic contribution: £80m

Roles created: 6

Russia – London
Russia - London

Anna Buldakova

CEO at Vektor AI


Sector: AI / Machine Learning

Visa Granted: 2020

Economic contribution: £1080m

Roles created: 12

Global Talent visa gave me an opportunity to start a business in the UK and also to become a part of the unique community of talented people from across the world. It's not just a visa - it's a gateway to the UK tech ecosystem, with a lot of support and knowledge. I haven't seen anything like that in other countries.
Russia – London
Russia - London

Anita Koimur

COO at LiveFlow


Sector: FinTech

Visa Granted: 2020

Economic contribution: £300m

Roles created: 9

Australia – London
Australia - London

Amber Robertson

Head of Product Management at Dotdigital


Sector: MarTech

Visa Granted: 2017

Economic contribution: £100m

Roles created: 20

South Africa – London
South Africa - London

Alexandria Procter

Co-Founder / Head of Product at DigsConnect


Sector: PropTech

Visa Granted: 2022

Economic contribution: £5m

Roles created: 20

Ukraine – London
Ukraine - London

Alexander Vilinskyy

Lead Product Designer at Grammarly


Sector: Comms

Visa Granted: 2021

Economic contribution: £10m

Roles created: 0

Nigeria – South East England
Nigeria - South East England

Adeyinka Ojo

Data Engineer at PA Consulting


Sector: AI / Machine Learning

Visa Granted: 2021

Economic contribution: £8m

Roles created: 7

If you are eligible, take the risk and apply. Take the time to prepare and plan your application. Try not to be intimidated with the guidelines, take it one step at a time.
Canada

Tristan Khan

I lead the executive team across all functional areas of the business, set high-level strategic direction and ensure the company is adequately resourced for achieving objectives.

Read more

Ukraine

Lyubov Guk

Scout, select and invest in great early-stage international founders, supporting them to realise their vision in the UK.

Read more

Amazon, Cambridge. Lauren Kisser
USA

Lauren Kisser

I am the Director for Alexa AI based at Amazon’s Development Centre in Cambridge, U.K. In this role I lead a globally diverse team of knowledge engineers, product/program managers, business and data analysts building delightful information based experiences on Alexa.

Read more

Kimeshan Naidoo, Chief Technology Officer
South Africa

Kimeshan Naidoo

I lead the engineering team to scale existing products and develop new ones, to drive critical business outcomes at Unibuddy

Read more

Jillian Kowalchuk, Founder / CEO
Canada

Jillian Kowalchuk

As the Chief Executive Officer, my role is quite versatile, which I love. Most days, I spend managing the operations of our teams and projects, sales prospecting and customer relations, iterating on our strategy while researching and developing new product and growth ideas.

Read more

Jason Laing , Founder / CEO
South Africa

Jason Laing

I oversee new product development, Innovation opportunities and Executive networks.

Read more

Jack Wang, Principal
Australia

Jack Wang

I source, coach and nurure founders of amazing tech start-ups with capital and personal support, to sustainably bring their incredible solutions to market

Read more

Elie Matta, Head of Engineering
Lebanon

Elie Matta

I lead a high-performing cross functional teams made of software engineers, QA, DevOps, Data Science and Designers. My role is to enable teams and individuals to develop on the personal/career level while delivering on new features. As we are in hyper scale growth, expanding the team is an important aspect of my day-to-day and I love it!

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Deepak Paramanand, Director of AI Research & Product Management
India

Deepak Paramanand

I am in charge of directing research in areas of AI, ML and Cryptography to find innovative ways to solve existing problems. Based on this research I then lead the teams who build products and services that benefit JP Morgan’s employees, partners and clients.

Read more

Daniel Glazer, Managing Partner
USA

Daniel Glazer

I lead the US Expansion group and the London office at the Silicon Valley-headquartered law firm Wilson Sonsini. My team supports UK/EU startups and scaleups on venture financing, M&A, and IPO transactions, and through their US life cycle

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Turkey

Cansu Deniz Bayrak

I lead fundraising for Bethnal Green Ventures and run our highest performing portfolio’s seed and Series A deals.

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Bade Adesemowo, Founder / CTO
Nigeria

Bade Adesemowo

As a person who thrives in high-pressure and fast-paced situations, I strive for positive results through the application of my leadership abilities and innovative thinking. In addition, I possess expertise in technology both from the technical and business perspective. I have an aptitude for optimising performance and motivating colleagues. In any position, I am able to visualise success, and identify innovative and effective strategies for achieving it.

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Alexander Chikunov, Managing Partner
Israel

Alexander Chikunov

As a Managing Partner of UK-based VC, I am investing into UK startups. We are supporting them at every step of the way and provide them with the necessary tools to scale and raise capital and to develop their solutions more rapidly.

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Akram Dweikat, Engineering Manager
Palestine

Akram Dweikat

Engineering leadership, I lead engineering teams building algorithms & machine learning powered products at scale. Currently, I am an Engineering Manager at Deliveroo, and ZbyHP Global Data Science Ambassador. 

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Bihe Zhu, Senior Product Manager
China

Bihe Zhu

I am the owner of one strategic growth programs of Amazon Fashion in Europe. I own the product feature request, timeline to implement, and define the Go-To-Market strategy. I also leverage customer feedback to improve their online shopping experience. Our mission is make every customer coming to Amazon Fashion look and feel good, all the time.

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Delivering impact that lasts

As is so often the case with tech professionals, all of the individuals included in our Faces of Visa feature are driven, determined and high performing individuals - leaving their mark on the UK’s tech ecosystem. Whilst we have just gotten to know them a little as individuals and begun to understand their contributions to the UK tech sector, according to our exacting Visa criteria, the majority of them are forging an incredible tech career in the UK, having already built an incredible platform in their home country and other countries besides. Tech Nation Visa holders are united as serial innovators and contributors, regardless of their particular disciplines. What’s more, all of these individuals will continue to ensure their innovative practices enrich the UK tech sector, far beyond their own careers, as they impart their skills and knowledge to their colleagues. 

50Surveyed
21Nationalities
19Languages
28Skills
9Subsectors
24Founders

The Tech Nation Visa has already received over 5500 applications from over 120 countries. If the UK were to open its doors even wider to global talent in the coming years, the economic impact would be profound. We’ve just explored 50 members of our alumni network - a network that has 1600 members, which represents only a little over 50% of all Global Talent Visa holders. Of these 50 individuals - a little over 1.5% share of all visa holders, the UK has benefited in the following ways: 

3kNo. of
Roles
created
726£mn Economic contribution

It is no exaggeration to say that without global talent and indeed the Global Talent Visa, the UK tech economy would be billions of dollars less valuable, less innovative and less diverse. 

 

Looking to the future

As has been the case for a number of years, demand for highly skilled tech talent has continued to trend upwards, with domestic supply considerably behind. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the way in which we live, work and train. With more individuals favouring a remote-first approach - perhaps most acutely felt across tech industries - there is indeed increased opportunity for international cross-border work. 

However, whilst flexible working arrangements will remain part of the working infrastructure, this flexibility on location does present a significant opportunity for all UK regions to develop and establish themselves as strong bases of tech talent, with much to offer beyond their respective tech ecosystems but as beautiful, varied and peaceful places to build a life.

Comment

Devon Geary, Network and Partnerships Manager

Innovation Alliance (West Midlands)

As someone who has called the UK my home for nearly 5 years, I’m delighted to see that this year’s Tech Nation Visa report is celebrating global talent!

My journey to a “tech visa” has not been linear. After earning a BA in English Language and Literature in the United States, I spent the first five years of my career working with adolescents in the higher education and charity sectors. I then moved to the UK to complete an MA called Shakespeare and Creativity at the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon (Shakespeare’s birthplace). I split my time between Stratford-upon-Avon and Birmingham and got a good taste of what it might be like to live and work in the UK. I liked what I saw and decided I wanted to build the next stage of my career here in the UK.

After some very intentional networking, I connected with Birmingham’s Tech scene and was given the opportunity to lead on several large projects within the Tech ecosystem. I really began to feel that I had a voice and that I had something unique to offer the region to support its ambitious growth plans. I have also felt like my non-Tech background has been seen as an asset by senior leaders across the region, which has been energising and encouraging! 

In the past few years, I’ve gotten to work with people across the FinTech, CreaTech, Gaming / eSports, Cyber, Transport, Advanced Manufacturing, Construction, HealthTech, and CleanTech sectors. I’ve contributed to projects that have created jobs, attracted investment, and generated economic growth. I’ve collaborated with senior leaders to advance the region’s Net Zero ambitions. And I’ve convened multi-partner consortia around topics related to Tech, sustainability, and creativity. None of this would have been possible had I not obtained the Global Talent Visa and settled in the West Midlands.

Though often overlooked, the Midlands region has a rich history, and you don’t have to travel far to visit mediaeval castles, stately homes, world-class theatre and arts venues, bustling city centres, beautiful parks, or rural areas. Birmingham–my city–is “the workshop of the world” and boasts more freshwater canals than Venice. It is the second-largest city in the UK and has the fastest-growing Tech sector outside London. Despite its size and major growth ambitions, Birmingham successfully balances the amenities of a larger city with the atmosphere of a smaller town. 

We were the proud host city of the Commonwealth Games in 2022, which has unlocked countless new opportunities for growth and development across the region, particularly throughout the Tech ecosystem.

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As was noted in the Foreword to this report; the pandemic presented people with an opportunity to assess what they truly wanted from their lives and careers. For many, this was a great balance between work and life - felt right across the planet. 

In our 2021 report we noted that over the next decade it is likely we will see a paradigm shift away from the G7 group of nations solely educating the most highly skilled talent. With emerging economies increasingly accounting for higher and higher numbers of highly skilled technical graduates and employees. 

With the UK’s economy relying to a certain extent on a buoyant, innovative and, most importantly, growing tech sector, there is a certain sub-reliance on continuing to attract talented individuals. This is where, as a nation, we need to not only demonstrate how great a place we are to work, but also to live. 

There has never been a better time for UK regions to be bold, shout louder and embrace the remote-first sensibility of many international tech professionals. With more choice than ever before presented to the talent itself, it is immigration routes such as the Tech Nation Global Talent Visa that will continue to be an essential value proposition for the UK - allowing tech organisations large and small, from Land’s End to Shetland to attract, hire and retain inedible global talent. 

Comment

Herman Komashko, Principal Engineer

Safeguard Global

With split Ukrainian and Uzbek heritage, it is fair to say that I am no stranger to incredible natural landscapes that take your breath away. Two years ago, the North of the UK - Scotland in particular - took this to another level and totally stole my heart. 

It’s important to note from this year’s report that UK tech really does mean all of the UK - not just London. Though obviously a hugely dynamic place and perhaps the nucleus of the country’s tech sector, there are so many opportunities outside of the capital in each region - especially in the  devolved capitals; Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast - more so in 2022 than  ever before.  

That’s why I chose Scotland and particularly Edinburgh to call home.  Draped in history stretching back thousands of years - Edinburgh castle  sitting right on top of the city centre seems to dominate every view -  blended with incredible architecture and exceptional modern innovations, with easy access to dramatic coastlines and the amazing Forth Bridge within a few minutes.  

Further afield there are the well-known Scottish Highlands, with their own well-documented traditions and rugged natural beauty, made up of jagged mountain peaks, peat-lined valleys and stunning lochs. It’s a great  place to reset and feel a million miles away from my day-to-day life in tech, which is a welcome break from time to time.  

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The Tech Nation visa’s flexibility both for applicants and their families means that they can meaningfully relocate with the intention of building a long term new chapter, feeling truly at home in an adopted home. We feel this is vitally important, not only from the perspective of doing the right thing but those who choose to put their faith in the UK, but also because - as this report explores - there has never been more choice from an individual perspective. This choice will expand long before it shrinks and so, it is wise that, as a truly inclusive nation, with a truly diverse tech ecosystem, that we have an equal collective focus on retaining global talent, as well as attracting it. 

 

Methodology

Tech Nation Visa administrative data

Application data contains information on the applicants’ gender, nationality, sector, skills, current position/role, etc. We added a column of continents based on the applicants’ country names.

Adzuna data

Over 14 million rows of data was analysed, using Adzuna data covering the whole of 2019 and up to the 9th August 2020. This data contained information about advertised jobs, across 29 different categories. Summary statistics were performed on digital tech roles (IT jobs or Engineering jobs) to understand the salary offerings provided by employers.

Lower quartile, median, mean and upper quartile were calculated. Lower quartile represents the first quarter and Upper quartile represents three quarters of the way along the salary list.

Throughout the report, the median salary is used, this is to ensure we have a better understanding and accuracy of an average of all roles with digital tech offered from the very junior roles to the most senior roles. The median salary recorded has been rounded up to the nearest tens. The ‘average’ i.e. the mean is a common metric used, however this method reports more imbalanced figures as the average is skewed by the fewer higher earning roles, which does not give a realistic reflection of the salary offered for roles.

Dealroom

Dealroom data deals with venture capital investment and excludes debt, lending capital, grants, ICOs and other non-equity. Secondary rounds, buyouts, M&A and IPOs are also excluded. The data excludes biotech. Including biotech the UK and European investment data would make it much higher. Dealroom’s proprietary database and software aggregate data from multiple sources, including news flow aggregation and processing, web scraping and manual research. Data is verified and curated with an extensive manual process, augmented by data processing.

Office for National Statistics (jobs)

To measure the total number of tech and tech-enabled jobs across the economy, we used data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Annual Population Survey (APS). This is a survey-based sample of the UK population – on individual people rather than businesses. To get UK-wide data on people working in tech jobs from the survey, we have to make sure that the sample of people reflects the broader UK population – so we have to use multipliers from the ONS.

But this kind of analysis does not measure the number of direct jobs created by digital tech companies. To understand the impact and benefits of digital tech we need to have reliable data not only on the number of tech jobs across the economy but also performance and productivity indicators for the sector itself.

To do this, we use official data from the ONS Business Structure Database (BSD), which we also use to look at the performance of tech companies. This methodology allows us to have refined data that can be relied upon as the most accurate count of direct jobs created by the digital tech companies across the country.

The numbers are quite different in some cases. This is because one analysis looks exclusively at people working for digital tech companies, while the other looks at people working in tech jobs across the economy.

This report presents two different sets of stats on employment. This means that the economy-wide numbers should not be compared to the sector-wide ones. But we have used this year’s method to look back over time.  If you want to compare employment in your local area, all the data you need is in the 2018 Tech Nation report.

The new 2019 analysis is based on a comprehensive look at all UK businesses that are PAYE or VAT registered.This means that using BDS data will provide us not only with the number of direct jobs created by tech companies but also helps us understand the performance of these companies. Viewed together, the two sets of data will help us understand all people working in digital tech.

The data on digital tech companies also contains financial information, as well as employment. This means that we can have reliable data on productivity. To get a true picture of jobs in digital tech, we need to look at performance, as well as quantity of jobs – this cannot be obtained from the APS alone.

Digital tech jobs – includes all people working in digital tech occupations, irrespective of the industry. For example, a software developer working in a retail company. (Source: ONS Annual Population Survey, Sept-Sept 2018-2019)

Digital tech jobs in digital tech – includes only people working in digital tech occupations in the digital tech industries. For example, a software developer working in a web development firm. (Source: ONS Annual Population Survey, Sept-Sept 2018-2019)

Jobs in digital tech – includes all people working in digital tech industries, including non-digital jobs. For example, an accountant working in a web development firm. (Source: ONS Business Structure Database Sept-Sept 2018-2019)