Career development and flexible working are now considered more important than earning potential when it comes to taking a job in the North West’s technology or digital sectors, new research has found.

Manchester Digital’s Skills Audit revealed that only 13% of technology workers in the region would view earning more money as a key reason to stay in a job or move to a new role.

In comparison, nearly half (49%) value opportunities to train and develop their career, while 46% much prefer to work somewhere offering flexible working.

In fact, money has become a decidedly less important job focus for the North West’s tech sector with social benefits (34%), remote working opportunities (33%) and access to better technology (32%) all coming out as more favourable than a higher wage among workers.

This will come as welcome news to the industry after the same report found that more companies are putting increased focus on staff development and training, particularly among younger workers, with nearly a quarter of North West technology and digital businesses now preferring to run their own apprenticeships and training schemes.

Katie Gallagher, managing director at Manchester Digital – the trade body for digital and technology companies in the region – said: “The digital and technology sectors are an exciting area for people to get into, particularly in the North West, so it is not surprising that more workers are putting increasing focus on their career development.

“We’re in a great situation in the North West, and Manchester in particular, in that we are attracting huge investment and interest from the technology sector, yet the cost of living in the region is below that of London so money is less of an issue. While we are seeing some pressure on wages because of the skills gap, finding that this isn’t a major concern for workers is reassuring for the future of this exciting industry.”

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