With the digital skills shortage at its most challenging levels ever, this session of Manchester’s Digital City Festival aimed to highlight the initiatives that could help address the crisis. With diversity and inclusion being the main themes, we were given insight into how large organisations like Microsoft and CapGemini along with HR and skills organisations combine to  build talent pipelines to help future proof Greater Manchester’s tech talent.

One of our Managing Partners, Colin Telford, attended the  Building Greater Manchester’s Future Digital Workforce event at this year's Digital City Festival. Here are the key points from the discussion:


Accessing the right talent

Liz Scott from Tech Nation looks after a network of scale ups of thousands of organisations. Raising money isn't the main issue anymore, it’s the access to talent that becomes a huge issue especially with the increased investment and scale. This has led them to look in all sorts of areas for additional talent and therefore it’s important that the organisations provide a realistic environment for a diverse workforce to flourish. Scale ups aren’t effectively creating a pipeline of talent and resulting issues like mid weight developers out earning the founders isn’t sustainable. They need to get involved in these initiatives in order to make them work for their business. 


Consider new ways of working

Emma Grant from Manchester Digital ran a skills assessment earlier this year and highlighted the top 10 in demand roles starting with developers and going through to digital marketing and project managers as the top 3. In fact, 2/3 of businesses see developers as an essential requirement for businesses moving forward. With 73% of business increasing revenue and 70% of business reporting an increase in staff in the last 12 months, 60% of businesses expect a need for hybrid working moving forward. It is clear that businesses need to adapt and provide a new normal for ways of working and recruiting. Businesses are not struggling with fresh talent, its talent with a few years experience that are in short supply. 


Think about your future talent pipelines

In summary, businesses are encouraged to think about their future pipelines for talent. This involves looking internally at your business and making it accessible. Working with external organisations like Manchester Digital, Tech Returners or Tech Nation will help advise on investment that is needed to achieve your longer-term goals. These organisations are partnering with The Princess Trust to connect with pools of young people into jobs as it opens much more potential workforce. 


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