Thriving workplace culture is driving the tech revolution in cities like Leeds, according to the region’s leading digital businesses, academics and investors.
At a Leeds Digital Festival roundtable dinner supported by tech recruitment firm Amsource Technology and law firm Ward Hadaway, innovative work culture was held up as the pivotal reason why the region’s digital sector is booming.
Participants including Lisa Roberts, Deputy Vice Chancellor and lead of research and innovation strategy at Leeds University and Stuart Clarke, organiser of Leeds Digital Festival discussed the region’s skills gap, inclusion and Leeds’ growing status as a tech hub as well as how work culture is driving growth.
“Candidates applying for tech roles through Amsource consistently rate workplace culture as their number one priority. It beats salary hands down,” said Andrew Maeer, Managing Director at Amsource Technology.
“Tech companies in Leeds have been quick to realise this and have built cultures which are both strong and attractive to potential employees.”
Stuart Bullock, Director of IT consultancy BJSS, added: “People are looking for better hours, more inclusive work, to be part of something.
“Millennials look at things differently, they want an experience, to be part of the bigger picture, with less emphasis on wages.”
Joel Spence – Director at TwentySix Digital, added: “People want a purpose not just a high wage – that’s what we are trying to create in Leeds.”
Andrew Maeer says the dinner brought top digital minds around the table and collaboration like this will further drive growth in the sector.
“The whole digital sector has huge untapped potential and that’s why we’re so focused on a collaborative approach.
“Businesses are being drawn to Leeds and we’re seeing the birth of a whole new way of working where flexible hours are the norm, there’s a huge emphasis on work life balance and being part of a team and a community is a real driver.
“By working collaboratively we’re building a vibrant community people want to be a part of and that’s the fundamental reason why the sector continues to grow.”
Helen Oldham, Director of North Invest, a not-for-profit investment platform driving growth in the North, praised Leeds for the opportunities it’s affording growing businesses. “There is a real opportunity for non public sector companies who want to influence positive economic change to do so, far easier than in other cities.”
Gareth Yates, a Partner and Head of the Technology team at Ward Hadaway, said Leeds’ fintech community is recognised as the largest outside of London and he was confident the city would continue to attract global investment.
“These are transformative times for the Leeds region and the technology community is driving that change.”
Amsource Technology and Ward Hadaway join forces again to recognise the commitment and success of individuals and companies within the Leeds City Region at The Leeds Digital Festival Awards 2018 on April 25th. The event takes place at Headrow House.
Image: Attendees at the roundtable hosted by Amsource Technology