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Tech North has launched a campaign aimed at tackling the North’s skills gap by filling 24 vacant digital roles in the space of 24 hours.
The government-backed initiative is asking for candidates with little or no experience in technology to apply online for a selection and interview process that will be completed on 27 March.
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Tech North has previously found vacancies in digital technology are the most frequent type of job vacancy in the North.
Richard Gregory, chairman of the Tech North Advisory Board at Tech North, said advancing in digital is important for the North as a region, but businesses are struggling to find skilled workers – which 58% of businesses in the region admitted to.
“Many young people are unaware of the abundance of digital jobs in the North and may be put off by the misperception that these roles ‘aren’t for them’,” said Gregory. “Well-paid digital jobs are going unfilled and people remain in low-skilled jobs at risk of automation.”
Previous research by Tech North found there are 1.4 digital jobs vacancies for every digital worker in the North, and that salaries in digital tech in the region are 48% higher than the national average.
But firms are struggling to find candidates, and across the UK as a whole, one contributing factor is an apparent disconnect between education providers and businesses, leaving many graduates without the skills needed to enter employment with organisations.
Many also argue that most roles require a degree or qualification in technology despite digital skills being available through various routes.
The Tech North “24 jobs in 24 hours” campaign is working with employers in areas such as Merseyside, Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire, Teesside and Tyne and Wear to advertise roles for candidates who are willing and available to undergo training.
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In many cases, advertised roles need no experience at all, with the aim of making them more available for people leaving school and university with a wide range of skills. Tech North made sure when approaching partner organisations that they were happy to take on candidates with little or no experience.
Softer skills, such as teamwork, creativity and communication, are also becoming important for employers when looking for technology recruits, but many argue these skills are more commonly picked up on the job rather than being taught.
Roles advertised as part of the initiative include junior developers, junior web developers, graduate developers, PHP developers and graphic artists.
One of the key reasons that many people, especially girls, choose not to pursue careers in technology is because they do not know about the types of roles available or what they involve.
Andy Poole, director at Citypress, one of the partner organisations trying to promote awareness of the initiative, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to bring together employers from across the region, to address one of their key challenges and find the next generation of talent in digital tech. We are taking an innovative approach to start conversations about digital tech, and to make the sector relevant and appealing to young people.”
Applications for the programme close on 26 March, and the employers are filtering applications daily to decide which candidates they think will suit the advertised roles. ............................................................. .......................................................................................................