Plusnet backs the great tech debate in Sheffield

Plusnet is aiming to be Sheffield's tech leader
Plusnet is aiming to be Sheffield's tech leader
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Plusnet is positioning itself as the city’s tech leader by sponsoring a round table and joining industry body Sheffield Digital.

The internet services provider, which employs more than 1,200 in Sheffield and Leeds, is supporting a debate on the sector organised by Sheffield Newspapers.

David Leather, Plusnet chief operating officer

David Leather, Plusnet chief operating officer

Chief executive Andy Baker will sit down with Business Editor David Walsh and a eight tech leaders to discuss how the industry can thrive.

It will be the first of its kind in Sheffield and will receive plenty of publicity due to both organisations’ digital reach.

A post on the subject has already been viewed more than 15,000 times on David Walsh’s LinkedIn page, demonstrating the level of interest in the event.

David Leather, Plusnet chief operating officer, said: “It’s great to see Sheffield leading the tech scene and it’s especially rewarding for us as this is where Plusnet was born 20 years ago.

“There’s a lot of talent in the area and it’s important we train and retain the local people. What will be especially interesting to hear at the round table is how different companies approach recruitment and talent development, and what impact they feel the competition has had.”

Plusnet has also joined industry association Sheffield Digital to raise its profile as a leading player and to create stronger links with the local community.

Digital transformation consultant Liam Dyson said: “I want to tap into the talent and innovation here – I’d like local companies to get in touch and say ‘this is what we do, let’s have a chat’.

“Getting more involved with Sheffield Digital gives us a direct route to build those relationships.

“Plusnet is proud to be in Sheffield and we see it as a growth city. We’ve invested heavily – everyone knows someone who works here.

“Now other companies are recognising the skills that the city’s got, but we need to do more to show that we can compete with the likes of Manchester and Leeds.

“We should make more of the fact that we’ve got the skills, infrastructure and opportunities to compete with them rather than be slow followers.

“It needs the likes of the council to drive the agenda but it’s up to us as a community to drive it forward. It won’t just be given to us.

“That’s why Sheffield Digital is important – it’s the glue that brings like- minded people together. I see it as a way for everyone to grow, by opening doors, allowing a small business to raise its profile with larger businesses, helping the people who have got the ideas.”

Like every growing business in the city, Plusnet is facing a challenge in recruiting experienced people.

Liam added: “We put a lot of effort into recruitment and we find the more we put in the more we get out. For example, our careers team has been searching out people with Sheffield roots to let them know about the thriving tech scene here and encourage them to move back.”