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Talent for Growth – Here’s What Happened

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This month, we invited leaders from Greater Manchester’s digital and tech community to join us for an afternoon of thought-provoking discussions to explore how to effectively attract, develop, and retain future talent in the North West, at our Talent for Growth event.

Why did we do this? It’s no surprise that young talent is locked out of industry, for a number of reasons. From cultural divides to work environment, leadership styles and values, businesses have a lot to learn when it comes to adjusting to the needs of this new workforce.

Given the growing and diverse economy in Greater Manchester that is creating exciting career opportunities for its residents, we wanted to connect businesses and young people to tackle this issue. Here are just a few of our key takeaways from what was a fantastic afternoon of learning and collaboration.

Young people want to work for purposeful organisations.

Bruntwood’s Head of Talent, Maddi Burns Hunt, put it perfectly when she explained exactly what young people want from businesses. It lies in the values and principles of an organisation, where talent can most see themselves being part of a team.

Networking is a sure-fire way to learn about new and emerging jobs.

As part of our early careers talent panel, former Rise learner and current Havas Lynx employee, Kayanna, was asked how we can better inform young people of jobs they may not know even exist. This was the case for Kayanna, who credits her enthusiasm to connect with new businesses and create new and diverse networks as the reason for landing such a high-value job.

She said that the best things to do is put yourself out there because there could be so many opportunities that you’re missing.

Digital skills are increasingly in demand.

We know that the North’s digital and tech ecosystem is growing rapidly, but it was surprising to learn just how in demand digital skills are set to be. Cllr John Hacking of Manchester City Council revealed that by 2030, 75% of jobs will require advanced digital skills. For businesses to keep up with this growth, they must understand how to effectively attract the next generation of digital talent.

Culture plays huge role.

“I want to know that the people around me are people who I like, and who like me back”. Kayanna noted that as well prioritising how purposeful an organisation is, culture is also an important factor when young people are choosing where to work.

This was echoed by Dawid, former Rise learner and current CGI employee, who shared that culture and communication is 80% of the reason he enjoys his workplace. It’s no secret that businesses can struggle with culture divides, but to retain talent, there needs to be targeted support to ensure that no groups are excluded, and every employee can feel involved.

There’s no doubt that more work needs to be done to attract and retain talent in the digital and tech eco-system. Events like Talent for Growth show us how much value lies in connecting businesses to young talent for real, tangible actions to be taken forward. Only when we work together will real change come about.

We look forward to seeing how businesses make their recruitment processes more accessible to this pipeline of new talent and support them into high-value careers in Greater Manchester.

If you’re interested in finding out more about our programmes, or are a business looking for new talent, get in touch!