The “Northern Powerhouse” was in the Prime Minister’s speech this afternoon, and trade body, Manchester Digital is calling on the Government to invest in the region and more specifically in digital.

“The coalition certainly brought in some good initiatives for tech and digital businesses, most of which until recently were focused on London. However this changed dramatically in the run-up to the election where there was borderline hysteria from all political parties about tech and the North,” said Katie Gallagher, managing director Manchester Digital.

Katie Gallagher, Managing Director of Manchester Digital - resize

Katie Gallagher

“I hope that the Tories will continue to invest in the North and understand just how vital our technology sector is to job growth and the wider economy. It’ll be interesting to see how the Tech North initiative pans out, considering it was a Lib Dem initiative all along.”

Gallagher commended the coalition Government for introducing computer science into the school curriculum, but she felt that more needed to be done to make apprenticeships work:

“David Cameron has said his party will create more apprenticeships, and whilst we admire this ambition, digital technology apprenticeships have not been as successful as hoped, particularly in the SME community. The infrastructure still isn’t right to get enough quality talent from schools into digital apprenticeships, so I hope the new Government will look to change this. We really need to get digital education right this time and tackle this skills gap once and for all.”

Manchester Digital is the independent trade association for the digital sector.

“It was a challenge for us to make sure industry voices were heard in the right places with the last Government. I hope that the new Government listens this time and realises its approach to digital, skills and economic growth needs to be joined up, and the best way of doing that is from a business-led, bottom up approach,” added Gallagher.