Young Talent Is Key To Manchester Taking UK’s Tech Crown

Stimulating young talent to develop and grow through school, university and apprenticeships is the fundamental building block for Manchester’s bold bid to become the UK’s tech capital. There is no sitting back on past glories in our industry, it’s all about constant reinvention and innovation and investment in young talent is the essential fuel for that transformation.

The government spends £500m a year on apprenticeships across Manchester in ten colleges. As a city with a tech focus, it is vital to steer as many of these apprenticeships towards the tech sector as possible. Focusing our resources towards tech will provide the necessary stimulus for Manchester to dominate the tech space in the years ahead.

Manchester is fast becoming the technology hub of the UK and much of the event was concerned with how to sustain this growth and maintain it for the future. The tech sector is obviously fluid and businesses need to re-invent themselves at least every three years. There is no resting on our laurels if we want our organisations and Manchester to be number one.

Much of the city’s technological success was and will continue to be due to tech SMEs being able to connect together within Manchester with other businesses and investors and pointed to key projects like The Sharp Project as the way to maintain momentum.

The Sharp Project provides a home for digital and technology entrepreneurs and production companies. Initiatives such as this hot bed of tech innovation are vital to the success of Manchester becoming the UK’s leading tech city and a key reason for my company choosing The Sharp Project to build our new £8m datacentre.

During a chance encounter with the Business Development Director of EON Reality, who is moving its European headquarters to the Manchester Tech Hub, I asked why a Californian-based business had chosen Manchester. I was told that it was because of the ‘drive, skills and passion of the people of Manchester’.

EON will be bringing 240 new jobs to Manchester but in 20 years time we will be able to look back and see this decision as the creator of up to 20,000 new jobs. Businesses will grow around them. The ripple effect will occur from the businesses flourishing around the initial plantings. There will be a direct correlation to that.

If we want to realise our rightful status as the UK tech capital we all need to work together. Business, education and the public sector must be coordinated and have a clear voice and agenda. It’s critical that we work together collaboratively if we want to influence government policy. Providing on the job apprentice training is every bit as important as a finding tech and science graduates as young people are leaving school without skills in tech.

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Scott Fletcher is a UK entrepreneur, heading up companies with a total valuation in excess of £50m. Scott founded what is now his largest business, ANS Group, from his back bedroom in 1996 at the age of 22. Scott has been named Entrepreneur of the Year for the North West at the National Business Awards, IOD Young Director of the Year and The PLUS Markets Chairman of the Year. Scott is also often turned to for comment by the media and is becoming known for his outspoken views on IT and business policies.