Manchester Digital LogoAlmost a third of North West digital businesses turned down work last year due to lack of qualified staff, according to the latest skills audit research.

Manchester Digital, the independent trade association for digital business in the region says 32 per cent were forced to refuse work in 2013 due to a lack of resource, despite 83 per cent of businesses experiencing growth.

The results of the annual Digital Skills Audit were announced at the opening of the Digital Skills Festival, which is currently running at Manchester Town Hall until Friday.

Chair of Manchester Digital Tony Foggett, said the skills audit was an annual event carried out to help plan events throughout the year. “It enables us to highlight where there are real issues in the industry and means we can work with local and regional government, educators and other relevant bodies to help resolve them.”

Other key findings included:

  • developers are still scarce in the North West
  • almost half of businesses surveyed (47 per cent) have had to inflate salaries to remain competitive in the labour market
  • salaries for developers increasing on average by 16 per cent.

Manchester Digital also announced its new skills partnership with the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, which aims to enhance the training needs of its 450 members.