The online business news website, thebusinessdesk.com, Yorkshire’s only business news dedicated website, have recently revealed that there is a massive problem in the area for digital and technology companies being able to fill their job vacancies.
Stuart Clarke who attended the last thebusinessdesk.com event, is the Head of Operations at digital start up company ‘Synap’, he said “Sky Bet, Sky and William Hill were there – just those three companies alone had about 500 really good technology jobs unfulfilled. That’s before you talk about Asda, HSS, The Test People… the list goes on. “How do we make sure that resource is coming in to fill those jobs and how do we all work with the universities? Of the top universities Leeds has one of the worst retention rates for students. How as employers do we keep London calling them there so they can see they can build their whole career here?”
Leading digital and technology company managers and directors all seem to point towards a similar conclusion, and that being the attraction of money and training in London far outway other benefits in the Northern regions, especially around Leeds and Manchester. Here’s just a small selection of their quotes.
Andy Burton (Chief Technology Officer at Sky Bet)
The problem is not just holding Leeds back, but also Northern counterpart Manchester, saying “There is a massive gap between demand and supply.”
Stuart Clarke (Synap)
“When they get to a certain size it is hard to expand in London so we want to bring them up here. We have space and cheaper office and residential accommodation.” Clarke urges that it is easier to raise much needed money in London, as he himself has just been through the process with Synap, raising more than £180,000, saying, “[It] has just gone through CrowdFunding with CrowdCube and that worked really well – we struggled to get funding within Leeds. We got 130-odd investors who put in decent amounts of money and have now become advocates for the business.”
John McArthur (Tracsis)
“We are on a par in terms of what we offer but not with the money. We advertise the other softer aspects of coming to Leeds in terms of mobility and value for money. But for hard nosed skills in maths, physics, computer science – when it is purely for money, we still get killed by London.”
Sally Smithies (Director at Leadership and Management Firm Red Sky)
“People are training in London with big banks or accountancy firms because the perception is that it is still the best training you can have and that it will set you up. But then does the gloss wear off after a while and they track back for a better lifestyle?”
James Waterhouse (Chief Executive of Deal Connections)
“With technology funding the ones you hear about are rock stars. For every one you hear about there are 100,000 playing the pubs and clubs and a million in their bedroom. It is not the case – but there is that perception amongst younger people with an idea that if they go to London they can raise money like this.”