Recently, the Dynamo Advisory Board convened a quarterly meeting to help drive the growth and success of the North East technology sector.
An African proverb sets the scene for the next topic of discussion: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
If you’re passionate about the North East tech sector, we’d love you to get involved.
Nurturing Talent and Collaboration
The group’s next discussion began with an exploration of access to talent. Canvassing Dynamo members over summer, most tech companies in our network cited the region’s skills gap and recruitment struggles as a key, recurring barrier to growth.
While the region produces talented hires, demand for skilled tech workers far outstrips supply. The group shared a candid discussion into their experiences of talent acquisition and nurturing, agreeing that skills would form the bedrock of the next quarter’s discussion given the gravitas of the topic.
Conversation began around higher education’s role in the ecosystem. The North East produces around 3,000 computer science graduates every year; whilst 30% find work locally, a substantial skills gap occurs as the majority of talent isn’t retained in the region.
There was shared sentiment that the region is not effectively showcasing to students the wide array of opportunities available on their doorstep, leading to job seekers looking elsewhere after graduation. This is clear and present in further education too.
One promising avenue for bridging this gap is to establish connections with North East secondary schools before students leave the region to complete their university education. Showcasing opportunities to the students so that they leave with the knowledge that there is work for them to come home to.This could serve as a valuable pipeline for students to explore and seize the exciting opportunities within our local tech ecosystem.
The group shared the belief that the region needs to do more to raise awareness of local tech opportunities to students in education, ensuring the talent of tomorrow knows opportunity exists in the North East. While it was acknowledged much effort has been made to bridge gaps between industry and education, it was agreed that challenges remain in students and graduates being able to identify the wide array of opportunities in tech on our doorstep.
One board member commented on the value the region’s universities and their industry-collaborating schemes can provide in funnelling talent towards local opportunities.
Dylan McKee said “Collaboration is key, Nebula Labs recently took advantage of degree apprenticeships. Being able to partner with Newcastle University has been a good approach to take on the people not really looked at by the traditional tech companies.”
The group agreed on measures local companies must take themselves such as the importance of demonstrating company values and culture to attract talent, while investing time into the pool of those new to the sector but eager to engage.
Moving forward the group agreed Dynamo must prioritise championing resources to empower jobseekers. This includes offering guidance on securing placements, effective career change management, and raising awareness of the plethora of mentoring schemes and upskilling programmes readily available.
Merger update; Successfully Navigating Start-up and Scale Up
The Rising Perception of the North East Tech Sector; Increasing Diversity in the Tech Sector in the North East; How to Get More R&D Spend; Levelling up the Dynamo Membership
To find out more about Dynamo and get involved in the region’s tech network, contact Al (Aleasser) Alzein (Membership Engagement Manager).
Call: 07719 030 607
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