Leeds has highest digital salaries in North and Midlands as skills shortage bites

THE salaries for advertised positions in the digital sector in Leeds are higher than in any other part of the North and Midlands, analysis of the sector has shown.

A report by Tech City UK and Nesta shows Leeds' average to be £47,959 - above Oxford and Cambridge, as well as the other digital clusters in the Northern Powerhouse including Manchester and Sheffield.

Tech Nation 2016 found the digital tech economy has a strong impact on employment nationwide and is creating highly-paid job opportunities, accounting for 1.56m jobs.

Leeds has seen the fastest increase in advertised salaries between 2012 and 2015 - up 29% compared to the national average increase of 13% - adding more than £10,000 to the average advertised salary. The North East clusters of Newcastle and Durham, and Sunderland have also seen sharp increases in salaries offered.

Sky Betting and Gaming is an independent digital business which has invested £11m in growing its Yorkshire workforce to 800 people across its Leeds headquarters and Sheffield office.

Chief executive Richard Flint welcomed the report for highlighting the importance of the digital sector to the region, but warned the skills shortage is becoming increasingly acute.

"There is a serious issue in terms of talent that is available in our northern hubs," he said.

"Despite our excellent universities and recording the fastest growth in digital wages, the majority - 60% - of businesses in Leeds believe access to talent is the number one challenge to growth.

"We certainly agree with this. Having recruited 360 people in just 9 months we still have around 125 digital job vacancies to fill and it’s becoming harder and harder to do so. This is a much bigger issue for business in the North than it appears to be for companies elsewhere in the country and must be addressed if the Government’s Northern Powerhouse agenda is to be a success."

Posted: Mon 15 Feb 2016
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