Insights / Employers

Why South Tyneside Council Chose to Sponsor Tech Talent Engine

South Tyneside is an ecosystem of businesses, employers, and residents. It is marked by the resilience, pride, and solidarity of its people. Sitting down with Tanya Johnson, we discussed why they chose to sponsor Tech Talent Engine.

Why South Tyneside Council Chose to Sponsor Tech Talent Engine

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Tech Talent Engine

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As a champion for digital investment for the region, South Tyneside believes the North East has huge potential.

With its Digital and ICT Services currently making up 90 roles, covering Operational IT, Digital, Development and Business Change, they have been involved in many high-profile resident-facing projects.

Sitting down with Tanya Johnson, Service Delivery Manager at South Tyneside Council, we discussed why they chose to sponsor Tech Talent Engine and the benefits they have received from the partnership.

Q1) How did you hear about us?

"I stumbled across the Eventbrite page for the Tech Talent Engine launch, and it piqued my interest. It sounded like something that could be useful for us, so I decided to come along.

"I thought it would be a really great opportunity for us to get our adverts out there and become more visible. The hook of it all was having the link with other businesses and training providers.

"When we heard about the sponsorship package, it was the answer we were looking for."

Q2) What benefit have you received from sponsoring us?

"It’s been incredibly valuable. We’ve spent time looking at all our job descriptions, personal specs, and adverts to make them appeal. We knew they needed a refresh, but this gave us better reach than ever before.

"It’s allowed us to ask questions that we hadn’t thought of before, such as why would someone want to work for us and why are we such a great place to work?

"As a result, we’ve spent some time working on our employer value proposition to identify more about our organisation and, ultimately, attract the right applicants.

"We’ve still got a long way to go, but the work we’ve done with Tech Talent Engine has given us a starting point and the mountain no longer seems intimidating.

"Being a sponsor has given us so much value, not just in putting the adverts up but the help in re-writing our adverts and generally pointing us in the right direction of things."

Q3) What events have been the most valuable?

"Tech Talent Live, as part of Tech NExt, was a fantastic networking opportunity.

"I had so many fantastic conversations with people in the room and, for someone who doesn’t generally attend networking events, it was extremely valuable.

"In terms of the students on the day, to have that ability to talk to people in real life and find out what exactly it is they are looking for is fantastic."

Q4) What is the biggest issue right now in tech?

"We are always talking about the skills gap. I agree to some extent, but what I do think we are experiencing is an offering gap. The number of degree apprenticeships for specific digital courses is very minimal. People, naturally, are looking elsewhere.

"What South Tyneside Council have been doing to tackle this is taking internships for those who are postgraduates and then moving them into permanent positions.

"That way, we can continue to retain the talent within the organisation."

Q5) What are your long-term goals for South Tyneside Council?

"Long term we will be growing our service with a new Data team within digital ICT as well as offering Digital apprenticeships at all levels.

"We are also modernising the way we work by implementing a new endpoint management solution and bringing in brand-new tooling for our fault, asset, request, and service management, which will give us the opportunity to create more self-service and automation to free up staff time.

"So, within the next two years, we will have a fully redesigned service.

"Working with Tech Talent Engine, we feel confident that we are going to achieve our goals. It’s an incredible advantage having access to the cohort of contacts so we can learn from others and network with others in the North East.

"We don’t want to just model what a lot of other governments do. We want to be looking at what is best practice industry-wide, and we will only get that from being able to have those conversations with other tech businesses in the industry."

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