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Silverchip COO, Jamie, featured on BBC A Mayor for Greater Manchester

Jamie McMullan, Co-Founder and COO at the award-winning app development agency, Silverchip, featured as a guest panelists alongside five other on the BBC’s A Mayor for Greater Manchester as he quizzed the mayor candidates on their plans on combating the digital skills gap and staffing shortage, in a debate hosted by Roger Johnson.

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"The digital sector faces a real staffing shortage. Partly, because the skills needed in our industry change faster than the education system can currently cope with." Said Silverchip Co-Founder and COO, Jamie McMullan.

"What are the candidates' plans to narrow the digital skills gap and ensure Greater Manchester continues to compete on both a national and international level?"

Each candidate acknowledged the need for more public and private funding to address the skills shortage and discussed practical solutions which included a review of the current education system and the need to upskill and reskill the Greater Manchester workforce.

During this special mayor election coverage, the candidates also answered tough questions on topics such as relationships with the government in Westminster, restoring confidence in Greater Manchester Police, the climate crisis, and the impact of the pandemic on Greater Manchester's health and social services.

The Greater Manchester mayor is accountable for all ten boroughs, directly elected to represent 2.8 million people. The mayor sets the straight for planning, the economy, buses, bigger transport projects and they oversee the police, fire service as well as influencing health and social care.

The first Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, was elected in 2017 for a three-year term. An election was meant to take place on 7 May 2020 but was postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Elections are now taking place on Thursday 6 May 2021. There will also be local elections in all ten Council areas of Greater Manchester as well as elections for City Mayor of Salford.

Catch up on the BBC's A Mayor for Greater Manchester election special by clicking here.