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Middlesbrough Digital for All

Middlesbrough’s digital and creative businesses are thriving.

And Middlesbrough Council wants people in the town to have every opportunity to work in the sector.

The incredible opportunities in the town’s Boho zone were showcased this week as part of Middlesbrough Digital For All, a strategy to remove the barriers stopping people in Middlesbrough getting online.

Those interested in taking their first steps in the industry were welcomed to meet business and education professionals at Boho One this week.

Among the firms to speak at the Middlesbrough Digital Showcase were video game studio Double Eleven, who have worked on some of the biggest game titles in the world.

Launching 12 years ago, its workforce of games designers and developers has grown massively in recent years.

But it’s not just those with a background in coding that are sought after at Double Eleven.

Jo Potts, recruitment manager, said: “You don’t necessarily have to understand coding or some of the sophisticated software our guys use, we all have a unique set of skills and attributes we can bring together.

“If you are ever reviewing one of our job descriptions, don’t discount yourself. Look at the skills and experiences you’ve gained in other roles you’ve done.

“A lot of folks we recruit may have done things in their personal time, they may not have been to university, they may have had caring responsibilities or other responsibilities at home.”

Digital Middlesbrough Manager Dan Watson led the Showcase event this week.

He said the council’s Digital for All strategy was aimed at making digital more accessible and removing barriers that may stop people getting online – and encouraging those in Middlesbrough to look at employment opportunities in the digital sector.

“There are a whole host of opportunities to upskill at institutions like Teesside University, and a whole host of roles available,” said Dan.

“We’re not talking 20 years ago where there was the thinking that if you want a digital job, you had to move to London or Manchester, we have got companies here in Middlesbrough that are working with Microsoft, Sony, Disney, HSBC, some of the biggest companies in the world.

“We need to change legacy thinking. When I was a kid, it was ‘there’s a job for life at ICI’ but now we need to think ‘there’s a job for life in digital in Middlesbrough’.”

Rachel Dodd, senior lecturer in digital journalism at Teesside University’s School of Arts and Creative Industries, spoke to attendees this week about Digital Upskilling Bootcamps for those who are unemployed or are interested in retraining to work in digital.

And she also explained how the university had launched a Creative Digital Design Degree Apprenticeship course – working with employers across Teesside to train people the skills of the future.

“It’s important that people from Middlesbrough and the wider Tees Valley gain these digital skills to help the local businesses we work with to continue to grow and evolve,” Rachel said.

To find out more about Middlesbrough Digital for All, visit here.