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Mass job cuts at global tech giants Microsoft and Google: what does it mean for the tech industry?

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With offices in Manchester, Microsoft announced plans for global job cuts of 10,000 this week and Google’s parent company Alphabet revealed 12,000 jobs are set to go globally.

It’s just the latest in a wave of mass layoffs seen across the tech industry, with Meta, Twitter, Amazon and Stripe all grappling with rising costs and a slowing global economy.

Although it’s uncertain how many staff at Microsoft and Google will be affected by the planned cuts in the North, how might this impact the wider tech industry particularly in the North?

For Harry Luscombe, founder of Manchester-based fintech start-up Boodil and former Commercial Director at Total Processing, it seems to have already opened up access to a greater pool of tech talent.

With a founding team of four, Boodil officially launched in October last year and has already secured a pre-seed raise of just over £500,000 from angel investors. The company works with a nearshore development agency to access its development needs. 

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Harry Luscombe
Harry Luscombe

He told Prolific North how over the past three or four weeks, he and his fellow co-founders have encountered at least three or four messages a week from those working at well-known tech companies.

“We’re only a new start-up. Within our previous roles, where we were in active management positions where we were directly responsible for hiring, that’s quite a significant amount of people reaching out looking for work and jobs,” Luscombe said.

“In the past three or four weeks, there have been people from the likes of Wayflyer even to the extent of Monzo reaching out, curious as to what we are doing but also have felt the effect of some layoffs after last year, and work into this year.”

Tech salaries drastically increased over the past 18 to 24 months with companies battling to attract tech talent, along with the mounting cost of living pressures. In his previous role, he noticed how difficult it was to find talent as “so many of these technology companies were snapping them up straight away”.

This could pave the way for “a lot more access to talent” for smaller tech companies. On what the outlook is for Boodil, he added: “We are just trying to run as lean as possible, especially with everything going on in the economy and in the market to ensure preservation of cash. We’re trying to make sure we’re growing in the right way without massive overheads and spend.”

But what does this mean for the wider tech ecosystem in the North West?

“Multiple global economic pressures are affecting all tech businesses, and we have seen the largest global tech businesses announce layoffs,” explained Katie Gallagher, MD of Manchester Digital and chair of the UK Tech Cluster Group.

“As well as Google and Microsoft announcing job losses just this week, we’ve seen similar announcements from Amazon, Meta and Salesforce. Despite these pressures which include high inflation and a cost of living crisis, the North West tech ecosystem is still relatively robust.”

Katie Gallagher
Katie Gallagher

“Most of our members are still reporting growth, although some are seeing a slight slow down in business. A lot of online companies that peaked and benefited from online sales and services during Covid have struggled as restrictions have eased. 

“We already knew this was going to be a challenging year and we have already seen some slowdown in terms of recruitment until businesses see how the year is going to play out economically. At the moment, businesses are being cautious, but the tech industry overall in the North remains resilient and innovative.”

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