TechUP – Improving diversity within Tech
TechUP is delighted to have been selected to take part in national Skills Bootcamps, free adult courses, designed to boost career prospects in the technology sector. We will be offering two industry focussed, cohort-customised 14-week courses – one in data engineering and the other on software development.
The courses are designed to enable those who are keen to develop and improve their technology skills in the subject, before having the opportunity to take part in an interview with an employer at the end.
The Skills Bootcamps being offered by TechUP form part of an Institute of Coding-led programme, where several UK universities are collaborating to offer a total of 20 Skills Bootcamps. They have been developed by the Department for Education as part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee and Plan for Jobs, in partnership with employers, providers and local authorities.
TechUP is a multiple award-winning initiative based at Durham University. We take people who have been overlooked. The under-served. We instil the skills required for them to enter and thrive within the tech industry. TechUP is an award winning trailblazing, innovative and collaborative initiative that’s making a difference to people
who refuse to be underestimated.
Created by Prof. Sue Black supported by Prof. Alexandra I. Cristea and a consortium of four UK universities, our pilot programme, TechUPWomen, provided an educational program to a diverse set of women to cross-train them into technology careers. Priority was given to women from the BAME (54%) and LGBTQ+ (21%) communities and those with disabilities (46%) or dependants (40%).
This six-month online programme, developed in collaboration with industry provided technology training, prepared learners for roles such as software developer, data scientist, agile project manager and business analyst. Pre –COVID19, this online training was supplemented with residential weekends focusing on team and confidence building, in addition to networking. Each participant was also allocated a one-to-one mentor from industry, to facilitate their development. Each residential weekend was documented with a mini-documentary and graduation was celebrated with a film looking back over their journey, check out our graduation: How Far We’ve Come.
To date, the impact of the programme has been substantial, with a 96% retention rate and over 50% of graduates finding new tech roles or promotions in a wide range of industries, within 12 months of graduation. These include manufacturing (Jaguar Land Rover and MSP), software (Double Eleven Ltd and Microsoft), education (JISC and Code Nation), service (HR in One) and the public sector (Newcastle City Council and Durham Constabulary). Furthermore, graduates of TechUPWomen have also recently taken up board trustee positions (Being Woman) and even launched their own Apps (Blaqbase). The programme’s over-whelming success led to award wins, including a 2020 Impact Award and a transformational effect on the lives of participants. The initiative underlined the need to deliver the programme further, faster and wider.
The Skills Bootcamps delivered by TechUP will build on this success, taking our award winning format and applying it to two 14-week Skills Bootcamps in data engineering and software development, training a total of 210 people into entry level roles in the tech sector. The Skills Bootcamps will include weekly live tutor-led online lectures and workshops, drop-in support sessions,
independent online learning, three intensive online events, networking, careers fair, one-to-one mentoring and motivation sessions, totalling an average of 16.5 hours per week study time. Topics expected to be covered include:
– Machine Learning
– Natural Language Analysis
– Data Science
– Bias in AI
– Foundations of Software Engineering
– Data Structures and Algorithms
– Programming – Python
– Programming – Java
– Software Testing
For more information and how to get involved – TechUP Skills Bootcamps – Non-Industry Partner Information Pack
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