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North East programme to create hundreds of tech and digital jobs


A Digital Talent Engine is being set up in the North East as part of plans to create a digital ecosystem in the region.

It’s being part-funded by the wider £12m Digital Growth and Innovation Programme, from North of Tyne Combined Authority.

Dynamo, the region’s “tech champion,” has appointed Helen Tong to lead the Digital Talent Engine project. Tong is the former Group Head of Marketing and Communications at Keepmoat Homes and Strategic Marketing Consultant at Avant Homes. She was previously Regional Marketing Manager at The Open University and a senior account manager at Robson Brown and NP Group (now IGNIFI).

She explained that now the hunt was on for a digital agency to create the website and jobs portal:

“This is a vitally important aspect of what we’ll be doing over the next few years – in essence we want to create a one-stop shop for employers, employees and training providers.”

“It will be an easy-to-use site to help people navigate their path into the tech sector by showcasing roles that fit their skills and interests, live jobs that are available, and how and where to get training if they need it. We will also have a focus on matching job seekers with mentors from within the industry who offer advice and support.

“From an employers’ point of view our jobs portal will be a talent pipeline with the right people with the right skills; while we hope to link schools, colleges and universities with employers and employees through apprenticeships and through helping to shape relevant qualifications.”

Dynamo stated that its Digital Talent Engine had five main ambitions:

  • To create a digital platform and digital assets to help prospective job candidates better understand digital career pathways and find opportunities within the regional tech sector that match their skills;
  • To deliver outreach campaigns and events to reach target audiences;
  • To establish a high-profile regional hiring portal for digital roles, supporting businesses in the region to attract diverse applicants to apply;
  • Work with employers and training providers and educational organisations to develop new training programmes;
  • Nurture early-career and new-to-digital talent who take up roles by creating a stronger community and network for them.

It will be supported through £380k of NCTA funding over 3 years. This will be match-funded through sponsorship and backing from partners and stakeholders.

“Our Digital Talent Engine will inspire and encourage people to get into digital and technology careers. We know many people outside of the industry do not understand the breadth of opportunities available and consider roles in tech to be out of their reach. The Digital Talent Engine will help change this,” said Dynamo Director Cate Kalson.

“We’re delighted to welcome Helen to the Dynamo team and under her leadership the Digital Talent Engine will help fill the 4,000 job vacancies in the regional tech sector, turning those vacancies into jobs that support the ongoing success of businesses across the region.”

Dynamo was established in 2013 by Charlie Hoult and Bob Paton, then Managing Director of Accenture, and works to grow the north-east IT economy through promoting the region as a hub for the enterprise IT sector.

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