Leeds Digital Festival's mission to close the skills gap

The next Leeds Digital Festival is aiming to be bigger and better than ever with organisers looking to showcase how people can build successful careers or companies in the city.

Monday, 9th October 2017, 4:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 12:00 am
choices: Stuart Clarke, right, said many people and companies are eschewing the bright lights of London for Leeds. Picture: james hardisty

Next year’s festival will be held between April 16-27, organisers revealed to The Yorkshire Evening Post.

Festival director Stuart Clarke says the collaborative nature of Leeds makes the city unique and is a strength for the region’s digital sector.

“We see more people and companies coming together and working together within Leeds than in many other cities,” Mr Clarke said.

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A key focus of next year’s Digital Festival will be looking at the skills gap within the digital industries. Mr Clarke said: “Every single tech company you speak to says one of their biggest issues is making sure that they have enough talent in the pipeline to fill any gaps that they might have.”

The festival director added that work was being done by the city’s universities and the digital sector to close this gap.

The next Leeds Digital Festival will feature a number of events encouraging women into the technology sector. This year’s festival hosted 115 events spaced over a week. However, with the extra week, Mr Clarke says the organisers are aiming for even more.

This year the festival attracted 10,000 people. Organisers believe that they can get 15,000 attendees at the next edition. The festival is looking to raise money to promote the festival and is seeking sponsors.