National Innovation Centre for Data.
Matthew Neville

Northshoring: Levelled up jobs on the cutting edge

The North East is becoming a technological hub as a direct result of the business phenomenon that is Northshoring, with companies’ moves generating locally sourced income and mass job creation.

One such company shifting their operations Northward is international technology firm Xplor, whose brand-new service delivery centre will create over 200 new jobs in the region, with skilled customer service, software development, R&D, multilingual, and technical support employment opportunities.

As part of the support received from Invest Newcastle, Xplor has been introduced to the North of Tyne Combined Authority, with ambitions to create 10,000 jobs and boost the local economy by £1.1bn through its Inward Investment Grant Fund.

Leader of Newcastle City Council, Cllr Nick Forbes, said: “Newcastle is a city on the global stage.

“We are now building a strong digital sector, which includes a growing FinTech base, that can compete with other big cities and have the ingredients we need – good transport links, culture, beautiful open spaces, a vibrant night-time economy and a skilled versatile workforce to attract investors.

“Xplor is a global leader, and any ambitious city would have been delighted to be host to their new UK base, but they chose Newcastle which underlines real confidence.”

Also embracing Northshoring is global tech firm Thoughtworks, with the Chicago-headquartered fim aiming to create 100 highly skilled tech roles in the region by 2024.

This will be in addition to the 9,000 currently employed by Thoughtworks, with 48 offices spread across 17 countries. Thus, the firm further pushes the North East onto the “global stage”.

Ruth Harrison, global head of industry domains at Thoughtworks comments: “For some time, we have been excited by the vibrancy of the tech scene evolving in the North East and we look forward to accelerating this with our arrival – not just within the tech community but also to create a positive impact on the community at large.”

Additionally, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory announced it will construct a new unit based at the National Innovation Centre for Data in Newcastle. This will ensure the creation of 15 new jobs at the centre.

Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said: “As outlined in the Integrated Review, our £6.6 billion investment into research and development will supercharge science and innovation to lead the way in developing cutting-edge technologies.

“I am delighted that Dstl are expanding their pioneering work in the North East of England which will benefit from a range of new skills sets, knowledge and expertise.”

Resultantly, the North East is becoming an increasingly attractive prospect for flexible high-skilled workers and a region on the cutting edge of technologies for both the UK and international markets. What remains to be seen is whether this growth can be sustained in the years to come.

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