Tapping into the ideas of your workforce could help keep them at your company amid strong competition from elsewhere in the tech sector.

It is no secret that there is a skills gap in technical areas, with businesses – especially start-ups –struggling to retain staff.

Wages are also spiralling as the same people go around in circles between companies.

Richard Foster, IT sales manager at Castleford-based Stroma – which provides certification and software solutions – is finding that challenging staff to show originality can reap rewards.

“We’ve been successful in growing the company through the skilled people in the Yorkshire area,” he told a BusinessCloud roundtable on tech in Leeds and Yorkshire.

Leeds tech roundtable

“We’ve taken those people on at an early stage – we’ve even had A-level students coming out who want to learn a career.

“We see ourselves as quite a dynamic company and we tell these youngsters: you’re not going to be a tiny cog in a large machine – you’re actually going to be working on software packages and technologies. What ideas have you got to bring to the table?

“That helps us retain staff because they’re doing something different and interesting.”

The roundtable also heard how start-ups in Yorkshire are finding it difficult to attract capital – but Leeds has become a real magnet for talent in recent years thanks to unicorn Sky Betting and Gaming.