One hundred women across the North of England and Midlands will have the chance to retrain in the technology sector thanks to a new training programme.
TechUP is led by Durham University in partnership with three universities and 16 companies in the technology industry.
Currently, women make up only 17% of the technology sector workforce, significantly lower than most other UK sectors.
Funded by the Office for Students, through the Institute of Coding, the TechUP programme aims to address this shortage by recruiting women who want to start a career in the tech sector, particularly from Black, Asian and other minority or underrepresented communities.
The six-month programme is open to women with degrees in any subject and has been developed with programme partners and York, Edge Hill and Nottingham universities.
Course participants will learn about data science, Machine Learning, project management and public speaking amongst other skills.
Most of the training is completed online, allowing participants to fit learning around current commitments. In addition, four residential weekends will give participants the chance to listen to industry-led talks and network with tech industry experts and their course peers.
Durham University’s Prof. Sue Black, a pioneer of women in technology and founder of #techmums and BCSWomen: the UK’s first online network for women in tech, and Computer Scientist, Prof. Alexandra Cristea, are collaborating with industry on the programme.
Sue’s own career had an unconventional start after leaving school at 16 and becoming a single mum of three by the age of 25. She returned to education at 26 and graduated with a degree in computing, followed by a PhD leading to her academic career.
Sue’s notable achievements also include the campaign to save Bletchley Park, the site of World War Two codebreakers, from demolition.
Prof. Black: ‘Education and technology have changed my life. Thirty years ago, I was living in poverty as a single parent with three small children. Going back into education at the age of 26, ten years after I left school, completely changed all of our lives.
Technology is a massive field that offers job opportunities in so many areas. We want to show that it’s a great career for women and kick start a revolution creating awesome female tech role models. In the 1960s, 50 percent of the technology workforce were women and we would love to get back towards this level.
TechUP has been developed between four universities and 16 industry partners, with the opportunity for 100 women to change their lives by taking part in this exciting programme.’
Industry mentors will be paired up with participants to make sure they are supported and guided throughout their learning.
Professor Black added: ‘If you have a degree, are passionate about technology and are looking for a change in career or want to try something new, I would really encourage you to apply for the programme.
This is a brilliant opportunity to learn new skills and start a new career in a fast-paced and dynamic sector.’
Applications will be open from 7–31 May 2019 and successful applicants will be notified by the end of May.
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About the Institute of Coding
The Institute of Coding (IoC) is a consortium of universities and employers, with a mission to develop the next generation of digital talent at degree level and above. The IoC will develop higher-level digital skills capabilities among those already in work as well as improve graduate employability.
Its goals include developing specialist skills training in areas of strategic importance, boosting equality and diversity in technology-related education and careers and producing research, analysis and intelligence to anticipate future skills gaps.