Thinking differently about digital talent in Greater Manchester

Since the pandemic, the tech job market has grown by 10% triggered by the need for many businesses to accelerate their digital transformation (there are now around 180K open job vacancies), and Manchester has the fastest growing tech sector outside of London in the UK - but demand is vastly outstripping supply. 

Codurance Regional Director, Amelia Bampton, recently joined a panel for Microsoft’s skills webinar, “Thinking differently about digital talent in Greater Manchester” to discuss and share ideas to help businesses attract, develop and retain diverse talent to close the ever-growing tech skills gap and remain competitive.  

The webinar was hosted at Manchester’s University Academy 92 (UA92) campus by Microsoft as part of their Digital Skills Week festival - connecting individuals, businesses and experts to develop diverse talent in the UK.  This is all part of #MicrosoftGetOn -  a 5-year campaign to  help 1.5 million people build careers in technology and help 300,000 connect to tech job opportunities.

Alongside Amelia at the event were leaders from a number of organisations in the region that provide skilling programs and opportunities for people to start new careers in tech, including QA Apprenticeships, Generation UK, UA92 and Greater Manchester Combined Authority. The webinar was moderated by Simon Lambert, Chief Learning Officer from Microsoft. 

Working with providers like UA92 offers businesses new talent with the right cloud skills needed for today's job roles. The university attracts people from different backgrounds, helping employers grow the breadth and depth of their workforce, driving diversity of thought, leading to better business outcomes.  

Apprenticeships are another great way to kickstart careers in tech, especially for those that have a non-traditional route into tech. QA’s programs attract 50% female trainees, with 45% coming from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds. Apprenticeships provide employers with a pipeline of talent that can turn into productive and highly valuable colleagues with the right nurturing and support . 

Finally, Generation is also working in Manchester to provide essential tech skills to help people from unemployed or underemployed backgrounds into roles that offer a secure and fulfilling career. Their bootcamps provide free training to people across cloud, IT support, data engineering and analytics. 

And what is Codurance doing to fill its own skills gap and hire the exceptional talent it needs to meet the demand for now and in the future?

Amelia explained that it is more important than ever to look at disruptive ways into tech through diversifying the pipeline for the region (and throughout the business).  When bringing in new people from different (non-traditional) backgrounds, it is vital that they have a successful onboarding and land well to be retained. Codurance works hard to provide support, both technically and emotionally to ensure this happens to every individual that joins the team by providing a buddy, regular coffee catch ups with colleagues and internal and external social and community sessions to share knowledge and get to know each other. Read more about life at Codurance

The Codurance Academy is also meeting the demand for new talent - a paid 16-week training program run several times a year where new joiners learn the skills to become productive Software Craftspeople on Codurance projects. 

 But what more can be done to accelerate hiring into tech roles in the Manchester region? The answer lies in collaboration and partnership. No one organisation has all the answers; instead by working together, taking a holistic view, exploring different pathways into tech and inspiring young people that careers in technology are as esteemed as other traditional careers, Manchester can become an even more attractive city to work and build a global business and world-class tech workforce.

To find out more about our roles in Manchester and the Codurance Academy, see our careers page. 


Codurance is a Gold Microsoft partner, helping businesses innovate through building cloud native applications and modernising and migrating their applications to Azure. We are also a signatory of the Microsoft Partner Pledge, a shared commitment to running tech businesses that believe in the power of technology to drive societal change and the responsibility to do this in a sustainable and ethical way. 

Join the conversation by using the hashtags #AchieveMore and #MicrosoftGetOn