Even southerners prefer their northern brethren to Londoners.
Almost nine out of ten IT leaders would prefer to work with tech entrepreneurs in North England than those in London’s start-up scene if it was a viable option, according to a survey from consultancy Robert Half.
Northern respondants to the survey, which covered 100 executives, were unanimous in their preference for techies from the likes of Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle, with Scots only slightly less enthusiastic.
Even 80% of southerners in London and the South East preferred the idea of working with northerners, with three-quarters of those in the South West and Wales saying the same.
Neil Owen, director at Robert Half Technology, said: "The fact that IT leaders already see TechNorth as a viable source of IT services reflects the success of technology businesses in the region to date and the importance of the technology industry to the UK economy as a whole."
He added that to build on the success the region had to prioritise "the attraction, recruitment and retention of the industry’s most skilled technology talent by offering competitive pay and benefits", highlighting training, flexible working and the latest tech as some important factors.
Skills shortage has been a chronic problem for the tech industry in general, with the issue being picked out by a third of those surveyed by Robert Half as a challenge for TechNorth in the coming years.
In light of this Owen said it would "be vital to act quickly when offering jobs to preferred candidates", adding that decision makers should be involved from early on in order to facilitate this.
Slightly over a quarter of respondants also pointed at the lack of venture capital funding as a problem in North England, an issue the region also has in common with Scotland, as CBR recently discovered.
Other difficulties picked out by the survey include infrastructure difficulties, which a fifth of respondants reported, and the fact that TechNorth covers several cities rather than just one, which 7% noted.