Northcoders acquires Tech Returners in £1.5m deal

Northcoders – the independent provider of training programmes for software coding and data engineering, which has sites in Newcastle, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham – has acquired Tech Returners in a cash and shares deal worth £1.5m.  The deal will complete tomorrow (Wednesday 8th February) and will create a 120-person business.

Tech Returners is expected to be fully integrated into Northcoders by Q2-2023 and will continue to operate under its existing brand.  Founders Beckie Taylor and James Heggs will join the Northcoders senior leadership team on completion of the deal. The two businesses share a myriad of values – especially around promoting inclusivity and diversity in tech – so this deal will build on those with new focused initiatives and projects expected to launch over the coming year.

Established in 2016 and based in Manchester, Tech Returners specialises in training and placing of mid – senior level professionals looking to re-enter the workplace after a career break in the technology sector.  The business uses its industry leading knowledge and techniques to refresh and up-skill corporate-sponsored individuals or existing corporate teams for large businesses across a number of industries. Across the Tech Returners brand, the team deliver award-winning programmes focused on software engineering, confidence, and digital leadership. Its client roster has included global brands such as AutoTrader, BBC, booking.com, checkout.com, The Guardian, Holiday Extras, Lloyds, On the Beach and the Telegraph.

Following the acquisition, Northcoders will not only benefit from entry into a new service area, specialising in mid – senior level re-training, but the team of 16 at Tech Returners will support the company in building a significant presence in key locations such as London. There is a solid shared cultural focus between the two firms – especially around diversity in the technology sector, with over 60% of returners being women and a strong track record of training ex-services personnel, refugees and supporting international disposition.

In 2019 Beckie, who is the 12th most influential woman in tech according to Computer Weekly, founded Reframe Women in Tech – the largest Women in Tech conference in the North of England – which she will continue to run and grow as part of the Northcoders Group.  Whilst James will continue to run the hugely successful DevOps Manchester meetup. He has also been instrumental in helping to set up the new Northcoders DevOps course which is launching in March.

Chris Hill – CEO of Northcoders – said: “Northcoders and Tech Returners share many common goals and values so this deal is an exciting step in our joint evolutions. Over the past eight years, Northcoders has grown to become one of the country’s leading coding bootcamps and is respected across the tech ecosystem as a place that produces talented junior devs in software development, data engineering and dev ops. Tech Returners have been on a similar mission but for experienced people returning to tech.

Chris added: “As a result of this deal we will become the only organisation that allows businesses access to the most diverse and comprehensive pool of top tech experts across all experience levels, and that’s something that will stand us apart from the competition.”

Beckie Taylor commented: “James and I have respected and collaborated with Northcoders in the past, so we know the fit is right. Our shared objectives are to ultimately drive talent retention in businesses, to attract the best and most passionate minds in the tech industry and to help build diverse teams. By combining our experiences and skillsets, I believe that we will create something really special that will have a lasting impact.”

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