Skills

The North East has an enviable pool of home-grown tech talent and new recruits are being nurtured in its top-quality universities and colleges. 

Our highly skilled workforce spans junior to senior-level roles and is experienced in the latest digital technologies. With exceptionally low attrition rates, companies moving to the North East can confidently invest in training for their staff. 

The region’s five universities produce high-calibre graduates in technology, accounting and design, and we have over 52,000 Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) students plus the highest proportion of computer science students in England. 

Durham University has its own fintech society and is home to the Institute of Advanced Research Computing. It is currently developing the Durham Mathematics School with Durham Sixth Form College – it will open in 2022 and be the only specialist mathematics facility in the North East. The university can also provide support for fintech employers who want to engage with students from relevant departments such as Durham University Business School, Durham University’s Department of Computer Science, the Careers and Employability Centre, and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs).

Newcastle University and Northumbria University are two of 14 centres of excellence for cybersecurity research – making Newcastle the only city in the UK to boast two facilities of this kind. 

Northumbria University’s Cyber Clinic produces 200 computer information sciences graduates each year. Businesses can engage with students on a consultancy basis on services such as ethical hacking, custom vulnerability assessments, penetration testing and incident response. 

Newcastle’s £5 million Centre for Doctoral Training in Cloud Computing for Big Data is developing high-level skills to support the fintech sector. PhD students from the centre work with businesses on group and individual projects and company placements, with many taking up leading roles in organisations after graduating. 

Our universities are working with the Institute of Coding to deliver radical, cutting-edge digital skills education for the future workforce. In 2020, Newcastle University launched a new Master’s Degree apprenticeship in software engineering. The North East Futures University Technical College provides IT, computing and healthcare sciences courses for 14-19-year-olds and is backed by North East-based Accenture, Hewlett-Packard, Sage and Ubisoft.

North East England has an established pipeline of new talent coming out of our universities and colleges. 

Education partners, key facilities and industry are working together to futureproof that pipeline and close the skills gap. For instance, the National Innovation Centre for Data (NICD) is working with companies to build their own teams of data scientists and analysts using programmes such as the Centre for Doctoral Training to upskill workers and ensure students get the experience needed to be industry-ready. 

Over 32,000 people are employed in our ICT sector and global businesses choose us as the place to grow their workforces.

But it is our education network that really makes North East England stand out to companies looking to relocate.

Our universities drive innovation and research. They collaborate directly with industry to develop knowledge and provide platforms for spin-out companies. New content and courses for the digital sector are created with the private sector to ensure students have the skills they need to join the digital workforce. In fact, the Institute of Coding at Newcastle University launched a Master’s degree apprenticeship to help businesses unlock much-needed digital skills.

The region’s higher education colleges are also working hard to develop the next generation of digital workers. The North East Futures University Technical College specialises in IT, computing and healthcare sciences for 14-19-year-olds and offers innovative learning experiences with funding from Accenture, DXC and Ubisoft Reflections.