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Manchester, The Digital Skills Gap and Me


Over the last year, Manchester has been rated the fifth largest digital tech cluster in the UK.

It’s said that it has the largest accumulation of tech jobs outside of London, with almost 8,000 digital businesses, which employ over 80,000 people. GP Bullhound have noted that 28% of the 50 fastest growing tech companies north of London now call Manchester home, this includes globally recognised names such as Amazon, the BBC and ITV. Whilst initiatives such as the Manchester Science Partnership have become home to more than 170 companies within the life-science, health-tech, biotech, ICT, digital and creative sectors and are actively working to support and promote our tech ecosystem. Over the past year the city has made it into the top 20 within the European Digital City Index for starting and scaling digital tech businesses, which with Google and GCHQ making the move up north, it’s no wonder that Manchester is continuing to strive to become a leading, worldwide tech centre.

However, due to a lack of training and education alongside mass scale technology and digital growth, a problem has occurred. Welcome ‘The Digital Skills Gap’ (DSG). It is said that the current ‘tech of the future’, Artificial Intelligence for example, will be known as everyday tech as soon as 2020, whilst 45% of current jobs could be replaced by automated modern demonstrated technologies within the same time frame. This will require a concentrated effort for recruiters to hire specialist ‘tech savvy’ individuals for the jobs that the tech can’t do (just yet). Employees will have to focus on training and personal development opportunities for any shot at improving their chances of attaining roles within the positions of the future. Ultimately, it sounds relatively straight forward; know your stuff, stay at the top of your game and you’ll get where you want to be. Sadly, this isn’t the case, the DSG is growing as we speak, mid to high level jobs are becoming increasingly harder for young people to enter because education is slow, and it doesn’t equip candidates with the relevant practical skills to fulfil the role and training isn’t always suited to the needs of the individual. Something must be changed or the DSG will continue to grow and these statistics will become more shocking than they already are…

  • 7 out of 10 roles require digital skills