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The Rise in Demand for AI Engineers: UK Hotspot

Posted May 29, 2024

With an increase in digital and technology candidate availability this quarter, we’ve been paying special attention to the rise in demand for Artificial Intelligence skills, and with that, the emergence of specialist AI roles.

Growth of AI roles

Our data has reported that UK job adverts asking for AI skills have doubled over the past year, with more than 7000 adverts on LinkedIn asking for these in the UK. We have even seen a remarkable 16-fold increase in job adverts asking for generative AI skills in general.

So where does this leave the tech and digital job landscape?

The emerging skillset of AI Engineers

With this rise in the need for AI skills, we have seen the demand for AI Engineers in the UK surge in beginning of 2024, reflecting a broader global trend towards the integration of artificial intelligence across various sectors.

Businesses across the UK are undergoing rapid digital transformation, spurred by the need to remain competitive in an increasingly digital economy. AI technologies are at the forefront of this shift, enabling companies to enhance efficiency, improve customer experiences, and innovate products and services.

No longer confined to tech giants and research labs; AI is being widely adopted across industries such as healthcare, finance, retail, and manufacturing. From automating complex tasks to providing predictive analytics and personalizing user experiences, the applications of AI are vast and growing.

The UK government has even recognised the strategic importance of AI and has invested heavily in AI research and development. Initiatives like the National AI Strategy aim to make the UK a global leader in AI technology. These efforts are stimulating the growth of AI startups and innovation hubs and ultimately leading to an increase in demand for AI Engineers across many industries.

The UK as a hub for AI Engineers

Our data suggests that the UK actually has the largest talent pool of AI Engineers in Europe, boasting 18% of the total talent pool.

This compares to 15% of the talent pool being based in Germany, 13% in France, 8% in Poland and 7% of the talent pool based in Spain.

Where in the UK are AI Engineers based?

When focusing in on the UK, a whopping 79% of this talent pool are based in London.

However, if you’re looking to hire this skillset across other areas of the UK, other significant talent pools include 5.7% of AI Engineers being in Bristol, 5.6% in Edinburgh, 2.8% in Manchester and 2.7% in Glasglow.

Interesting statistics on UK AI Engineers

We’ve rounded up some key stats for you on UK based AI Engineers:

  • 7% of these are male
  • 8% have been in their current role for less than 2 years
  • The most common job titles are now AI Engineer, AI Research Engineer and AI Software Engineer compared to the previously common titles of Data Scientist, Software Engineer and Machine Learning Engineer.


With such appetite in the global market for specialist AI skills, we expect demand to continue its rapid increase to the extent that the AI Engineer job title is widely seen across the tech sector. In the face of this demand, employers will need to hire based on transferable skills until the talent pool matures.

For further information on digital and technology talent trends and predictions for this coming quarter, download our latest Technology and Digital Insight Report today.

If you would like to discuss how best to get hiring and building out your AI skill sets, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Sanderson team. We’re ready to help.