Today, as part of its DoDiversity initiative, NTT DATA UK announced the successful graduation of its sponsored candidates participating in the route2work digital skills Academy programme. The scheme forms part of NTT DATA’s ongoing activities designed to support women into tech careers and invest in their development as they progress. The graduates of the route2work programme, who come from a wide range of backgrounds, received training in core Microsoft skills and now have the competencies required to pursue a new career in the technology industry.
To help address the gender imbalance in the technology industry, NTT DATA UK is committed to creating opportunities for women within the sector. Providing training programmes aimed at those who have not taken the traditional pathway into tech is a vital way of creating such opportunities.
The partnership with route2work, which saw NTT DATA UK fund scholarships for 30 women to enrol in one of four digital skills Academies, is part of its ongoing commitment to Diversity and Inclusion and to closing the gender gap in technology, by giving those who otherwise lacked opportunities to enter the industry a chance to develop the core skills required to work in the technology sector.
Many candidates involved in the scheme were working in another sector while retraining to move into tech or had previously encountered significant barriers to working in tech. Graduates from the route2work academies include:
- A widowed mother of four who was working on the London Underground and teaching herself IT skills to build a career that will enable her to better support her family.
- Another participant was working in a restaurant and used her spare time to learn new programming languages, which allowed her to supplement her income by taking on clients as a freelance website developer.
Eleri Gibbon, UK Services Partner Lead at Microsoft, commented: “It’s vital that people with a passion to pursue a career in technology are not held back by lack of available training opportunities. Microsoft is committed to working with its partners to ensure technology is accessible for all and initiatives such as the route2work Academies are crucial for widening the pool of skilled candidates and creating a more diverse talent pipeline.”
Chris Peel, CEO at route2work Group, commented: “It’s been incredible to see the individuals involved in this programme learn and grow as they’ve taken advantage of the fantastic resources on offer through the Academy. Equipped with a deep understanding of core Microsoft solutions, all our graduates now possess skills that are in high demand across the industry, improving their career prospects as well as contributing to a more diverse talent pool from which organisations can hire.”
Each academy gave candidates the opportunity to develop fundamental and practical skills and granted them access to peer-to-peer learning and tutor support. Having graduated from the course, candidates will now be invited to interview with NTT DATA, with the possibility of beginning their careers in technology within the organisation.
Kate Daniels, Portfolio Director at NTT DATA UK, said: “Bringing in candidates with different life experiences and who have taken varied routes into the industry can only enrich the tech workforce and enhance its capacity for creativity and innovation. Moreover, developing alternative routes into a tech career is an important antidote to the ongoing talent shortage affecting the sector."
Neil Trussler, Chief Delivery Officer at NTT DATA UK, commented: “We are passionate about finding the best tech talent and one essential way to do this is by supporting those on unconventional career paths into the sector. It’s a great way to find undiscovered and hidden talent, which is crucial given the ongoing tech talent shortage. Giving women the opportunity to succeed is crucial. We’re immensely proud of the women doing amazing things at NTT DATA UK – such as Safina Begum, recent winner at the Women in Tech Awards – and we hope that our women inspire others and attract further talent to join us.”