Unless you spent the entirety of the last general election campaign living in a Faraday cage on Mars, you will have heard of the Government’s much vaunted ‘Northern Powerhouse’ policy.
The idea of the Northern Powerhouse policy is that economic growth across the north of England, including here in the North-East, can be accelerated through investment in infrastructure such as high-speed transport and improved communications.
So, that’s the Northern Powerhouse; but what’s a Digital Powerhouse?
Way back in May, RSA published a report commissioned by Tech North entitled “The Digital Powerhouse Report”. This report set out to examine how the Northern Powerhouse ideas and proposals can be harnessed by the tech industry to improve its performance and reach its full potential.
What did the report say?
Primarily, the report’s authors looked at the situation of the tech industry in the north as it is now and set out the things that, they felt, are holding it back. They also made some recommendations about what companies, and the Government, should do to help the industry continue to grow and compete with its London-based counterparts.
1. Contract and Tendering Portals. The report proposed setting up a ‘digital powerhouse contract portal’, to help keep down procurement costs for start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses.
2. Keeping Key Talent in the North. Any industry needs people to work in it. One of the most challenging problems facing the north’s tech industry right now is that of holding on to the brightest and best developers – people like you – here in the region. We have some of the best universities, doing some of the finest research in Europe, so there’s no shortage of talent.
The report makes it very clear to employers that the ball is in their court, to make sure that they offer fabulous employment packages, so that developers like you want to stay here in the North-East.
3. Transport Links. It’s a well-worn argument, but if you’ve ever had to travel from Leeds to Manchester, you’ll know exactly why it matters. Although the Government has announced grand plans for new trans-pennine rail and road links, it has yet to set deadlines for bringing these much-needed developments to fruition. They cannot come soon enough.
In all, the report makes 14 key recommendations. Some of them are easier and more straightforward to implement than others, and some will need longer term consideration and investment. However, all will help to see the creation of a world beating Digital Powerhouse, with the North-East at its heart.
Whether you are a developer looking for a job opportunity or a company representative looking to hire local tech talent, Ronald James can help you. We are the leading niche recruitment agency in the Newcastle area, contact us today to start a discussion!