Three digital training bootcamps funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) will enable up to 40 local people to start a new career with global technology giant UST.
The digital transformation solutions company which works worldwide with FTSE 1000 and Fortune 500 companies in areas like software products and platforms, automation and artificial intelligence, has partnered with the WMCA to recruit residents from the region.
This is the first time UST has recruited from digital bootcamps in the UK, with the training specially tailored to ensure candidates have the skills needed by the employer.
Those who successfully complete the training will be eligible for a three-month paid internship at UST, with the opportunity to become full time employees and be part of various digital transformation initiatives at UST.
The training for the three bootcamps is being delivered by Birmingham provider TechTalent Academy, and is part of a £7.5m investment from the WMCA which has already trained more than 1,500 residents.
Learners on the first two bootcamps have just started virtual classes in coding, with the third bootcamp planned to begin next month.
Digital skills bootcamps are a key part of the WMCA’s plans to implement its Digital Roadmap, which sets out five missions to digitise the region, including becoming the UK’s best digitally connected region and increasing access to digital opportunities by tackling digital exclusion. The announcement comes as the city hosts Birmingham Tech Week.
In addition, the WMCA introduced UST to Coventry University and as a result the company will be taking on a number of postgraduate students for a data science project. These students are in the last part of their master’s programme and their work will give them professional experience while adhering to the academic module.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, who chairs the WMCA, said: “We know that training in the skills of the future that employers need is a crucial way to help people get back into work quickly as the region recovers from the economic impact of the pandemic. This is why retraining and upskilling are a key part of my plan to help 100,000 people into work in the next two years.
“That’s why we have partnered with UST to enable local people to start new, exciting jobs in the tech sector, with everyone who completes the bootcamps also gaining valuable skills to help their current and future careers.
“I would urge anyone who has fallen out of work or who is worried about their future employment, to see what training options are available through the WMCA.
Praveen Prabhakaran, chief delivery officer, UST added: “Our partnership with the WMCA will develop the talent for a wide variety of digital programmes and represents a commitment to the region.
“UST has successfully transformed the lives of under-represented communities across different geographies with our ‘Step IT Up’ program. Our work with WMCA and Tech Talent Academy paves the way to expand on this initiative across the UK. The local talent we are recruiting bring with them a range of programmes in the data, low code, and RegTech space - and will ultimately enhance our offering to customers.”
Janice Rae, founder of TechTalent Academy, said: “As an organisation we give the opportunity to help people upskill and find a fulfilling, new career in the tech sector. Many people we work with may not have considered or been able to get into tech previously and we actively encourage applicants from under-represented and minority communities. We have trained more than 500 students this year already, the majority of whom are representative of these groups.
“We have strong relationships with employers, with the focus on our students working in the sector once they’ve got their accreditation. This clear route into employment provided by UST is a really exciting opportunity for our students.”
Former primary school teacher Rebecca Uddin, from Birmingham, took a career break after having two children and has just started as a junior data scientist with UST after completing TechTalent’s part-time Women in Data Academy, funded by the WMCA.
She said “Training online enabled me to work flexibly while being a stay-at-home mum. The trainer was always approachable and helpful, and there was lots of hands-on learning and support ranging from one-to-one sessions to extra sessions focusing on helping me to understand difficult concepts.”
The WMCA has already funded digital bootcamps for nearly 1,500 adults who were unemployed or in low-paid jobs and had no or little experience of tech, with an aim of getting 70 per cent of people into jobs upon completion.
To find out about more about starting a new career in digital, or improving your existing skills, visit https://beta.wmca.org.uk/what-we-do/power-up/