Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Our Digital Garden Is Rosy, So Why Are So Many Leaving? ROB EARNSHAW Says Everything Should Be Rosy in the North East's Digital Garden - and Yet It Isn't. He Asks Why That's the Case

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Our Digital Garden Is Rosy, So Why Are So Many Leaving? ROB EARNSHAW Says Everything Should Be Rosy in the North East's Digital Garden - and Yet It Isn't. He Asks Why That's the Case

Article excerpt

Byline: ROB EARNSHAW

ACROSS the North of England, we are blessed with a fantastic collection of creative and digital businesses, many of which are at the forefront of their global industries.

Gaming, publishing, communications, technology development, design and more; we have it all, here in the North.

The region also boasts a plethora of young individuals with the skills and raw talent needed to play a significant part in developing these businesses and industries, creating a Northern powerhouse for the sector.

One would imagine through the coming together of these two groups, that all would be rosy in the region's creative and digital industries.

However, instead of staying here and building hugely rewarding careers in our region, many of these young people complete their studies and, before the ink is dry on their diplomas or degrees, have their bags packed and travel booked to leave the region in search of jobs.

This Dick Whittington-esque behaviour is creating a real and tangible skills drain affecting those businesses that have chosen to operate from the region, and this can be put down to a lack of awareness among young people of the opportunities and organisations here.

Additionally, our region lacks inward migration of talent from other parts of the country, due to the same lack of understanding of what is on offer.

Yes, there may be jobs up and down those streets which are perceived to be paved with creative gold, but the opportunities are as abundant here, without the additional cost of living issues associated with the South East.

Also, it was interesting to note recent reports of tenants of one of the capital's much-heralded digital hubs having to resort to dongles and "dial-up" speed internet. Here, we have a plethora of sites with excellent connectivity, such as Digital City Middlesbrough, Evolve in Sunderland, the Toffee Factory in Newcastle and the soon to be launched Digital Quay in Gateshead. …

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