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Warren Jacobs, managing director of Active Win Media, explains why he believes Manchester could shape our digital future – if we are prepared to make the most of the opportunities.
Is Manchester becoming one of Europe’s most important digital centres? Industry leaders think so.
The city’s creative and digital presence is vast.
Increasingly international companies, people and events are migrating to Manchester to spread their knowledge and mark their territory in this digital hub.
The city has a thriving tech business community, with new businesses and work places popping up each day. Business rates and cost of living are comparatively cheaper than London. And you’re never too far away from the capital, with a choice of ways to travel.
The launch of MediaCityUK in 2012 created a new centre of excellence outside the capital for the first time in history. It radically expanded Manchester’s creative, production and digital media communities.
For example, US company EON Reality moved its European headquarters to Manchester as an extension of The Sharp Project, home to the city’s digital entrepreneurs and production companies.
Virtual reality experts EON Reality created 240 new jobs through the opening of its research base and computing coding college.
Manchester’s infrastructure and large student population confirm it as the place to build innovative digital businesses.
But there’s a responsibility for business owners – from new start-ups to established digital brands – to react to the influx of creative companies by inspiring our next generation of digital professionals.
Long-term strategies should be integrated into business plans and company objectives. Businesses need to develop better ways to appeal and entice future workers; through exciting initiatives in schools, unique work experience placements, rewarding apprenticeship programmes or attractive on the job training opportunities.
It’s not enough to expect our future workforces to understand the technology that shapes today’s society. Their critical thinking and analytical skills need to be developed to gain a better understanding of their chosen careers.
At our company employees are given thorough formal training as soon as they step foot over the threshold. Investing in training programmes and individual development helps shape a team into what you need for the future.