West Midlands organisation applauded for creating an avenue for refugees to get into the tech industry
Published: Tuesday 20 Jun 2023
A non-profit organisation based in Birmingham is empowering asylum seekers and refugees to seek future jobs in the tech sector by offering free courses that give the opportunity for them to lead a thriving life.
Code Your Future, who picked up the Successful Partnership award at the West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA) recent Adult Learning Awards, has helped over 160 learners since 2020 with 72% of graduates successfully landing jobs in the technology sector after completing the course.
Highlighted today on United Nation’s World Refugee Day (Tuesday 20th June), the year-long training programme is remarkable for supporting adults of any age who would struggle to access traditional ways of learning by structuring free training around other responsibilities and providing people with laptops, childcare and travel costs.
Code Your Future specifically design their courses to improve the diversity of people working in the technology sector and increase their future opportunities. Currently, asylum seekers can study in the UK, but cannot work or generate an income, so the course allows them to make good use of their time and stick to a routine.
One individual who has benefited from the course is Davinder, 23, a former asylum seeker from Afghanistan. He was a former engineering student who wanted to learn how to become a web developer and found Code Your Future after discovering an advert at a local bus stop.
He said: “I was helpless and new in this country. I wanted an opportunity to continue my studies as learning is my passion.
“Every door seemed to be closed because of my social status, but this opened one big wide door for me – and changed my life by giving me this opportunity. I had something to look forward to once again in my life.
“This is a golden opportunity for others to grab. Do not hesitate, just join – you will love the community and the support.”
After being granted refugee status, Davinder eventually found a job as a Full Stack Web Developer at software development business Overleaf.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, said: “Code Your Future has a laudable mission - supporting people from disadvantaged and minority backgrounds to learn new skills that set them up well for future work.
“My thanks to them for providing unique opportunities to refugees and asylum seekers to put their time to good use and develop their skill set whilst they aren’t in a position to earn an income.
“It’s good to see that Code Your Future as an organisation was recognised at the WMCA’s recent Adult Learning Awards for creating a pathway into meaningful employment in our region’s technology industry - one of the fastest growing sectors here in the West Midlands.”
Cllr George Duggins, WMCA portfolio lead for skills and productivity and leader of Coventry City Council said: “It is great to see the WMCA use World Refugee Day as a chance to highlight Code Your Future’s impressive work towards supporting those from disadvantaged backgrounds find routes into gainful employment.
“It is so important that we continue to make opportunities to learn accessible to everyone and make age or background not be a barrier to better your employment prospects.”
For more information on Code Your Future’s Adult Learning Award please visit the WMCA website: https://www.wmca.org.uk/what-we-do/productivity-and-skills/adult-learning-awards/codeyourfuture-and-capgemini-uk/.
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