January also saw the return of Refresh Teesside, bringing together the digital, creative and tech communities for talks, talent promotion, networking and pizza! We were privileged to be invited to speak at the launch event and took the opportunity to talk about Mark’s recent appointment as High Tide chairman, as well as the foundation’s focus on “upping the game” when it comes to inspiring the region and sector’s future workforce. After a two-year hiatus we’re looking forward to seeing what Refresh Teesside have in store for 2019!
Refresh Teesside, January 2019
It was then our turn to welcome graphic design students from The Northern School of Art into the studio, with a visit and tour of the Better HQ. Students found out more about agency life and our brand building process, before hearing about creative careers and the booming creative sector in the Tees Valley.
Forging links and closer relationships between colleges and universities is a key part of our recruitment strategy, allowing raw creative talent to be nurtured, developed and retained directly here in the North East. We’ve already seen the benefits such opportunities can bring for both ourselves and talented individuals, with one of our designers, Matthew, originally joining the team as an intern following his graduation from The Northern School of Art.
Visit from The Northern School of Art
This week also marks National Apprenticeship Week, aligning with our wider commitment to recruit and grow young talent in our region. As with our internship programme, apprenticeships form a crucial part of our recruitment process. The opportunity to nurture and mould creative and digital talent is unique, as is the chance to hear their fresh opinions and innovative ideas. We currently have one apprentice in our team, with Shane hoping to follow in the footsteps of web designer Nathan, in going from school to apprentice to fully-fledged web designer.
To cap off a busy few months, we’ve also heard the exciting news of the latest developments for the Boho zone, with a £20m plan for new offices announced to meet increased demand. As Middlesbrough’s digital sector continues to contribute more than £300m a year to the economy and employ around 1,000 people, more space is required for start-ups and those who have helped spark the region’s digital growth.
Plans for the Boho development in Middlesbrough
Located at the heart of this cluster, we know some of the industry-leading work that takes place just a few hundred yards from the area’s former industrial heartland. But in 2019, the region that once built some of the world’s most recognisable structures is now more likely to be building brands, creating video games and producing world-class video content. And with this recent news, combined with the nurturing, development and retention of the region’s best creative talent, the Tees Valley’s creative and digital hub is set to continue its growth.