2023 Events

The Manchester Digital Skills Festival takes place from 6th – 10th February 2023 at various venues across the city-region.

Find out more about the activities happening over the week

Tuesday 8th February
Wednesday 8th February
Thursday 9th & Friday 10th February
Thursday 9th & Friday 10th February

Monday 7th February

Conference Day and Skills Audit Launch (1pm – 5pm)

The Festival will be launched in person, with/welcomed by Katie Gallagher, Managing Director at Manchester Digital. Followed by a series of industry speakers and panel guests.

The Manchester Digital Skills Audit is an annual audit of over 250 digital and technology businesses, identifying new or emerging trends as well as key issues that the industry faces and skill sets and job roles of growing importance. The findings from the 2022 Skills Audit will be announced at the Conference with analysis on what these findings mean for the sector.

Who is the Conference aimed at: Manchester Digital members, public sector/government decision makers, educators and tech employers interested in talent and skills.



Monday 7th February 2022
Circle Square, Oxford Rd, Manchester M1 7FS

13:00 – 13:30: Arrival & Registration

Welcome & Introduction to Skills Festival
Katie Gallagher, MD, Manchester Digital
Ministerial address

Keynote presentation: Inclusive leadership, the Auto Trader way
How Auto Trader have created a programme aiming to bring behavioural change across their leadership teams with a focus on evolving their inclusive culture. The speakers will share key data and insight from comprehensive internal research on inclusive leadership behaviours and will provide an overview of the programme and the journey over the last 12 months.
Helen Robinson: D&I and Community Engagement Manager, Auto Trader
Tony McAdle: Learning Partner, Auto Trader

Panel Discussion: New technologies need new skills?
Gartner predict that by 2030 emerging technologies such as AI, AR/VR, blockchain and robotics will have reached ‘the plateau of productivity’ meaning that they will be adopted as mainstream technologies. Many companies are already incorporating some of these disciplines into their products and services but how are organisations responding to this demand and ensuring they have the right strategies in place to access to these skills and how are they future proofing their businesses? How should these new skills be taught, will they become fundamentals or will they remain the preserve of phd and post graduate studies?

– Panel to be announced

Skills Audit
Presentation of the findings
Alison Ross: Platform & Operations and People Director, Auto Trader
Tom Amies-Cull: Global Chief Operating Officer, Dentsu Aegis Network

Panel Discussion: Wage inflation: the impact on sustainable tech recruitment in Greater Manchester
In-demand job roles continue to be in short candidate supply. Recruiting enough of the right tech talent continues to hinder the sector’s growth in the region. Until outcomes of the current investment in reskilling and up-skilling are realised, we’re seeing a vicious circle of wage inflation that is not sustainable and may ultimately damage the ecosystem. Does this mean intervention is needed? This panel will export the realities of such behaviours on business growth/survival, diversity innovation, as well as consider whether the shift to remote working is or will impact on recruitment in the long term, positive and negative.
– Panel to be announced

Keynote Speaker
The Digital age is more than ever a human age: the future of tech education
Craig Fenton: Director of Strategy and Operations UK&I, Google

Closing Remarks and Final Thoughts
Katie Gallagher: MD, Manchester Digital
Regional Government Leader – TBC

17:00 – 19:00: Networking & Reception

* This programme is subject to change and updates will be released on the run up to the Skills Festival

Tickets are now available to book.

Book now

Tuesday 8th February

Digital Apprenticeship Day – Virtual

It’s National Apprenticeship Week, and Digital Apprenticeship Day is a spotlight event to demonstrate the vast number of pathways into the sector. It will bring to life the rich breadth of apprenticeships now available at all levels as a credible alternative route into a career in the industry.

AM: Employer Breakfast Panel
This session is aimed at businesses who are interested in finding out more about digital apprenticeships and to discuss the benefits of employing apprentices in the digital sector. Through a panel session, we will deep dive into insights, success and key learning for delivering apprenticeships effectively.

As well as dispelling some myths about the credibility and availability of an apprenticeship as a career pathway in tech; they will discuss the benefits and practicalities of employing apprentices, from both sides. Can digital apprenticeship pathways create accessible opportunities for diverse Talent?

Book now

PM: Learner Session
This Digital Apprenticeship event is aimed at anyone considering a digital apprenticeship, specifically College students, career changers and those who have recently up-skilled in digital. There will be an Apprenticeships marketplace where you’ll be able to speak to specialist providers about the opportunities they can support you with, and find out what employers are hiring, how and when to apply.

You’ll also hear talks from employer and past/current apprentices about apprenticeships in the following areas:
Creative (e.g. digital marketing, design)
Cyber, AI & Data
Software development

The panels will be made up of current and past apprentices in each pathway, and one employer.

Book now

Are you an employer who invests in Digital Apprenticeships or a provider of Digital Apprenticeships who wants to get involved? Get in touch with us at info@manchesterdigital.com

Wednesday 9th February

Talent Day

Talent Day is the largest specialist careers fair in the North. Each year over 1800 graduates and job seekers attend to find out more about the latest careers on offer at some of Greater Manchester’s most exciting and innovative tech companies. 40+ businesses attend and there are upwards of 250 jobs on offer.

It’s the perfect day to find new talent, or if you’re a jobseeker, to take the next step in your career whether that be a promotion, career change or securing that first job.

Who is Talent Day aimed at: Students, graduates and job seekers looking for digital and tech roles

Tickets to attend are now available.

Book now

Employer looking to hire early talent? Book a Talent Day exhibition stand by getting in touch with us at info@manchesterdigital.com


Thursday 10th & Friday 11th February

Professional Development Days – Virtual

We know continuous learning is important to professionals, particularly in digital. Professional development days provide an excellent opportunity to hone your skills, share knowledge and learn from your peers or if you’re considering a career move, then attend our free workshops which cover a range of industry skills and topics.

Who are Professional Development Days aimed at: Professionals already in the industry looking to upskill or those looking to upskill for a career move.

Book now

If you’d be interested in running a Professional Development session, please get in touch with us at info@manchesterdigital.com

Tuesday 8th February

Industry Insights – Virtual

Workshops and Industry Insight sessions bring to life the world of digital. They will provide an opportunity to learn and develop new skills across a range of topics in the digital sector as well as valuable career insights.

Who is the Industry Insights Day aimed at:

  • Schools and colleges across Greater Manchester
  • Career changers / upskillers who live in Greater Manchester

Delivered by: Tech employers across Greater Manchester

Want to attend / take part in an Industry Insight session? Tickets will be available soon. Register to receive alerts when ticket sales open.

Register for alerts

Want to host an industry insight session? Get in touch with us at info@manchesterdigital.com


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