Over the next year the Manchester Digital Council will be focusing on 5 specific areas of activity that for the next 2 - 3 years we believe will be key to further developing the region's industry:
Developing a Healthy Ecosystem
An industry growing at the size and scale of Manchester's will suffer from fragementation and duplication. Manchester Digital needs to continute to take a leading role in helping the ecosystem benefit from improved co-ordination, increased collaboration across different parts of the industry and more cohesion between indsutry and education.
Talent and Skills
This has been a high priority for Manchester Digital for a number of years and is tackled at both a strategic and practical level. We will continue to work hard to develop the talent pipeline and lobby the public sector to help them understand where the gaps are in the education system and how to fix them. We will also be working to increase the volume of quality talent entering the industry, helping students with work readiness, delivering IAG into schools and focusing on the current workforce by keeping them upskilled with our CPD programme.
In some senses this is a subset of the talent and skills work we do but the Manchester Digital Council think it is an important area that needs to be addressed. Given that we are such a young industry (50% of business owners are under 40) there is a need for coaching and mentoring by those who have actually been there and done it. We will create a bank of mentors in all disciplines at all levels, and where needs be create the mentors by offering bespoke training and support, we will then match them with people who are looking for help.
Manchester's digital infrastructre puts it at a major disadvantage in comparison with competitor cities like Amsterdam and Berlin. We think that devolution could create an opportunity to open up the infrastructure market, encourage new providers and build new infrastructure.
Profile and Promotion
The promotion of Manchester as a great digital destination is largely carried out by the public sector and part of the problem is they do not know the industry well enough to tell the real stories about what is going on here, what makes it unique or the strengths we should be promoting. Manchester Digital will be creating a narrative that provides a true reflection of the status and capability of our industry.
The full strategy and supporting initiatives will be available shortly.