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16/11/2017 - 12:03

2018 is set to be a huge year for tech companies in Scotland as GP Bullhound, investment and advisory company have recently confirmed that Edinburgh is “one of it’s European tech hub hotspots.”

With Edinburgh increasingly being acknowledged for having well known, successful technology startups, it has been confirmed that the 2018 Northern Tech Awards will take place in the capital for the first time. The awards have predominantly been held in the North of England, so this is a huge achievement for Scotland and shows how the tech scene is developing at a very fast rate.   

GP Bullhounds’s Managing Partner, Hugh Campbell, predicts “increasing investor appetite for Scottish technology companies in 2018 and beyond.”

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09/11/2017 - 15:58

According to the latest HIS Markit Report on jobs, the high demand for permanent and temporary staff is still very prominent in Scotland and the number of permanent job placements increased at its fastest rate since 2015.

Scotland are continuing to outdo the rest of the UK in the growth of permanent placements, which is hugely encouraging for jobseekers in Scotland who are seeing more opportunities with higher starting salaries.

However, with this positive news, Kevin Green, chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, warns that the number of available candidates for jobs continues to shorten.

“The supply of candidates available to fill permanent positions in Scotland fell sharply, continuing a trend observed in March 2012.”

A huge factor for employers increasing starting salaries is to try to attract those with desirable skills to move. Kevin Green also highlights that we must continue to have a huge focus on attracting EU workers to Scotland and make them feel welcomed. With the uncertainty of Brexit, it is understandable that those out with the UK are reluctant to move and thus “we urgently need clarity around future immigration systems.”

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18/10/2017 - 10:36

Independent IT recruitment specialist Cathcart Associates is to expand its foothold in Manchester to meet the record demand for skilled technology staff among the north of England’s start-up businesses.


The international company projects 100% increase in turnover year on year over the next three years in its Manchester division, taking revenue to over £4 million by 2020.  Headcount is expected to double over the same time frame. 


To meet the challenge of the new workload, the business has established a dedicated training programme for graduate recruits who will work on the company’s expanding Manchester-based client list. Cathcart, which was founded in Edinburgh in 2009, has projected ambitious yet achievable fee income targets for the next three years that would be a record percentage growth for the company if achieved.


Manchester is a hotbed for technology startups and since opening its Manchester operation two years ago, Cathcart has seen demand for its specialist IT recruitment services grow steadily, as well as chalking up some significant business wins, including a partnership with one of the UK’s best digital agencies, Mando.


Outside of the office, Cathcart Associates has been building its reputation with its sell-out event series MancML, organised alongside intelligent search business Running quarterly, these events bring together some of the brightest minds in the UK in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Analytics. These informal meet-ups give Manchester-based companies that are pushing the boundaries of machine learning the chance to share experiences and hear from speakers at companies like Peak BI, Auto Trader and INRIX.


Cathcart believes in playing an active part in the buzzing technology and IT community in Manchester.  These free events, create opportunities for startups and entrepreneurs to forge partnerships, while offering a glimpse into some of the UK’s most prominent IT companies and providing businesses with support and additional learning.


Sam Wason, co-founder and director of Cathcart Associates, says: “The volume of tech success stories coming out of Manchester is impressive. Manchester’s technology sector is bursting with potential and we are excited to be part of the tech scene here and to support it as it competes with other tech hubs for talent and business.


“While there are other IT recruitment firms in the area, Cathcart Associates stand out for its quality of approach and service. We are an independent business, free from the constraints of a parent company, and our dedication is now feeding through to the results we are seeing in the business.”


The company’s graduate scheme has been set up to deliver a unique training programme that provides trainees with the highest possible standard of recruitment training.  Cathcart already has a policy of hiring only new graduates and this programme formalises this growth strategy. Five trainees make up the first cohort undertaking the tailored programme to become fully-fledged recruitment consultants. The six-month programme will see the trainees undergo intensive training, mentorship by senior team members and subsequent integration into the business.

L-R Sam Wason with co-founder Gordon Kaye

13/10/2017 - 11:36

Cathcart Associates were delighted to sponsor Manchester Digital’s first demo evening on Wednesday night. This was event was focused entirely on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) giving a few organisations the opportunity to show off what they are doing in the exciting world of Data Science.

First up we had Daniel, CEO of Wondrwall, the world’s most intelligent light switch. To be honest, he had me hooked just with the tag line. Using Machine Learning models Daniel and the team have essentially turned your home into a brain. The light switch learns when you will be home, what temperature you like the house, when to have the lights on and off – all very cool. They have also built some brilliant burglar deterrents and safety features. A great start.

We then had the newly appointed Head of Research Ilaria of Digital Bridge, who talked about narrowing of the imagination gap when it comes to home decoration. Having seen these guys before at the first MancML, I knew what to expect – however, it was still brilliant to see again. Essentially their technology allows you to try out new wall papers, sofas and paint colours on your phone before you make the dreaded trip to IKEA or B&Q – absolute result.

Last, but by no means least we had Charlie from Dootrix who talked about their learns and early foray into Machine Learning / AI. Whilst not as ‘technical’ or detailed as the first guys, it was great to hear them talk about how they ended up involved in this area and the work they do. In fact, it probably resonated with a lot of people in the room who have been able to see the effect of AI / ML without really ever planning on!  

All in all, it was a fantastic night, that was as usual put together brilliantly by the Manchester Digital team. Everyone stayed around, asked questions and ‘networked’ (horrific term, we all just chatted and had a couple of drinks).

We cannot wait for the next one and will hopefully be involved once again.

Next MancML Event

On a slightly separate note, however, still in keeping with the AI / Machine Learning theme, we’re also buzzing for the next MancML event, which is just over a month away. This time we are being hosted by the lovely in their incredible office space on Fountain Street. After a short hiatus (mostly due to Liam travelling around Croatia and Erik sunning himself in Tel Aviv), we’re hoping for a stellar turn out on our return.

As it stands, we have four talks confirmed, including the return of Peak BI (that makes it a hat-trick, we’ll sort out an award or some sort of lifetime achievement recognition); who will explain how they are setting up a Data Science team in Manchester from scratch; the Head of Data Science from Barnett Waddingham will tell a story of a failed Data Science project and finally, we will close the show with our very own Erik Mathiesen, who has yet to decide a topic, but in true Erik fashion, he’ll pull something off last minute!

We’ll also have a selection of food and drinks on the night as usual, with loads of chances to chat, mingle and ask as many questions as you like.

As always, you can get tickets through our website or by contacting any of the team (Erik, Colin or Liam. With a limited capacity we fully expect tickets to be snapped up quick, if you’re not fast you may well be last and bitterly disappointed.

We look forward to seeing some familiar faces on the November 23rd, as well as I am sure, some new ones.

Lots of love,

Liam & MancML & Cathcart Associates.


11/10/2017 - 15:09

IT recruitment can be a tricky business, but how can you make sure you get the right talent first time round?

For years there has been talk of a global digital skills shortage that will make it difficult for organisations to attract the talent they need for important projects. Combined with budgetary constraints, this puts extra pressure on recruitment as companies don’t want to make expensive mistakes. 

Read more on our top tips to finding the right talent:

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