Digital Skills Summit 2012

Real collaboration between digital businesses, education and training providers was the key to a hugely successful Manchester Digital Skills Summit and Talent Day this week. The two-day event was organised by Manchester Digital with support from Manchester City Council, MMU and BCS. Well over 800 students came to Talent Day in the Town Hall and networked with more than 40 businesses – with over 100 jobs on offer. “We had a fantastic day” said Stewart Morton of 5-times Big Chip winners Matmi. “The quality and enthusiasm of the students was great and we look forward to working with some of them in the future”. Employers like BBC, Code Computerlove, Magnetic North and Oracle were able to identify students for work experience and placement opportunities as well as potential full-time positions. At the Skills Summit conference the previous day real progress was made towards answering some of the problems facing businesses – like how to find and develop talent, and how to make apprenticeships, placements and internships work for small businesses.

Tony Foggett of Code Computerlove emphasised the special needs of many digital businesses for people who are strong in one discipline such as creative or technical but also have an affinity and understanding of the others. Alex Connock of Pretend and MMU pointed to the tremendous opportunity Manchester has to succeed in the digital world and the existing strengths of the universities and colleges in the region. Futurist and MD secretary Mike Ryan predicted the end of jobs as we know them now and the need for real lifelong education. A panel discussion looked at the complex area of apprenticeships, internships and placements.

Angela Harrington from Manchester City Council emphasised the importance of apprenticeships for economic growth and the crucial role digital had to play as a growing sector and an attractive field for new entrants.

Announcing a new list of digital-related courses available now online <> for Manchester Digital members, MD chair Shaun Fensom pointed out at the conference close that small digital businesses would still be confused by the plethora of options for combined work and training and that there was a future role for Manchester Digital in helping members take advantage of the opportunities on offer.

Nigel Barlow live blogged the conference <> . His blog had hundreds of visitors from all over the UK