What a Looming General Election in 2024 Means for the Job Market in Tech in the UK

Political commentators agree that 2024 could be, at the very least, the build up to a general election year. The latest possible date for a general election is 29 January 2025, and many people assume a spring or summer election will take place, but the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has hinted recently that autumn would be a more likely date. Here we look at how a general election could affect the tech job market in both the public and not-for-profit sectors here in the UK. 


Political uncertainty affects all aspects of UK business. After the Prime Minister requests that the King dissolves parliament, the government and opposition parties have 25 days in which to woo the public into voting for their Member of Parliament. During this time no parliamentary business is conducted, adding to the uncertainty felt by organisations of all sizes and sectors in the run-up to an election. This will only exacerbate the economic worries the country’s businesses face after recent news confirmed that we ended 2023 in recession.

Tech jobs

In terms of jobs and recruitment within the public and not-for-profit sectors, several factors have the potential to impact the tech job market including high inflation, including weak GDP growth, rising unemployment, and the increasingly unsettled situations in the Middle East and Ukraine. 

Presently, a number of organisations are freezing their current headcount and contractor spend - however, a lot of this activity is now shifting to consultancies, creating a false economy in terms of where organisations feel they are saving cost.

Whilst the government may currently be reducing their hiring efforts, there remains the potential for announcements around a range of hires closer to an election as a strategy to boost popularity.

However, some key parts of the public sector are now spending to save, by hiring vital, specialist Digital, Data and Technology talent in order to move to more cost-effective delivery, raising the question as to whether headcount freezes across the sector could prove to be particularly short-sighted.

Other areas which may be impacted include:

AI – increasingly being used in industries such as investment management, insurance and banking, AI also has applications within recruitment in such areas as CV creation, applying for jobs and during the hiring process (generating job descriptions and adverts, posts on social media, candidate screening etc). The Government says that recognises both the opportunities and challenges that AI provides but hasn’t gone as far as regulating it as of yet. That may change when a new Government of whatever colour is in power. Meanwhile a report, entitled, ‘The impact of AI on UK jobs and training’, published in November 2023, notes that AI has the potential to automate between 10-30% of jobs, increasing productivity and creating new, high-value jobs in the future. The demand for AI experts in both private and public sector jobs, whoever runs the country, looks strong.

Public sector technology – in a report entitled, ‘Great government: Public service reform in the 2020s’, the Institute for Public Policy Research examines the challenges that the NHS, schools and the justice system face over the next few years. In the report it argues that the next government needs to invest in ‘employment friendly’ technology such as enhanced infrastructure, as well as better training and more use of data, to speed up automation which will enable front line staff to concentrate more on their core functions. It discusses how technology, such as ChatGPT, can be used to automate routine administrative tasks to support staff and has the potential to cut the costs of public-facing services by up to one third, while achieving better delivery of services and increasing efficiency. It highlights the importance of effective training for staff as well as the right to retrain for those people affected by automation. Finally, it discusses how vital it is for everyone to be able to access digital public services, such as their health records, being able to book an appointment, order prescriptions and give feedback, through a single portal accessed through their smartphone and stresses that this should be a priority.

Political change

At the moment pollsters predict a Labour win in the forthcoming general election, but that can all change between now and polling day. No manifestos have yet been issued so it’s difficult to predict what a new, coalition or continuing government’s attitude towards the tech industry will be after the results are announced. One thing is for sure and that is that people working in the tech industry will still be in demand after a general election, that digital services will increase, with more reliance on them in both the public and not-for-profit sectors and that whichever party is in power after the election will need to invest in sufficient training in schools and universities to allow these new technologies to be adopted and be of benefit to the general public. 

If you’re looking for a career in tech or you need talent to help your digital transformation call us on  +44 020 8253 1800, email us at contact@global-resourcing.com or fill in the contact form here.
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