Wired Sussex: Why We Pay the Brighton & Hove Living Wage

We caught up with James from local digital membership organisation Wired Sussex all about what the Living Wage Campaign means to them.

Firstly, tell us a bit more about who you are and what your job role involves…
As the skills & talent manager for Wired Sussex I am looking to tap into the digital skills debate specific to our members and to the Brighton and Sussex digital community. My interest varies from researching the digital jobs of the future to understanding the immediate skills needs of the sector. I really want to open up the eyes of the city to the sheer number of digital careers available to them, and hope in some small way that I can help both companies and individual achieve their skills goals for 2018!

Tell us more about your organisation…
Wired Sussex is a Brighton-based membership organisation that supports the local digital, media and tech community in the Sussex area.  We work to help our members to create, innovate and grow. Our goal is to support our members in their quest to deliver innovation, creativity and growth, & to enhance the reputation of this fast-growing regional cluster on the international stage.

What’s the best thing about being a business in Brighton & Hove?
Brighton offers so much more than a beach and vibrant nightlife. It’s a place where anyone with dreams of creating a business can realistically start and grow business. Brighton has a culture unique to itself and I think it’s no surprise that in last years “Tech Nation 2017” report this city has a 92% tech sector growth potential.

What does the Living Wage mean to your business?
In all honesty the Living Wage argument is a no brainier for us. No one should feel like they are unable live Brighton due to their wages and we stand firmly by Brighton & Hove Living Wage Campaign.

Why do you feel the campaign is important?
At Wired Sussex we’ve committed to paying the Brighton Living Wage or higher to all our staff as we recognise the high costs to live in our wonderful city and we’d like to support and nurture talent where possible.

Do you feel your industry tends to pay a fair wage?
You can have a fantastic career working in the local digital sector and as the industry has developed we’ve seen the salaries continue to rise.  Our digital economy is now worth more than £1 billion to the city each year, that’s roughly the same as what the city generates through tourism, which is pretty incredible when you think that it’s still a fairly nascent industry, less than 15 years old!

When it comes to staff well-being and morale, what else can make the difference?
In my experience a sense of togetherness is fundamental for staff happiness. This could be something as simple as once a week having your team eat lunch together to awards for unsung heroes as voted by their colleagues. We all have our own personal targets in our jobs, but collaboration as a group does always seem to result in a communal benefit.

And finally, do you or your team have any good news to share with us?
I’m currently working on Talent2018; a three-day festival that’s set to be the largest digital jobs and skills festival in the South East with 3 consecutive days of events happening across Brighton. If you are interested in getting involved or coming along you can find out more here.