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Tech Talent Accelerator launches to teach 100 unemployed young people to code

100 young people facing barriers to employment will be given essential tech skills to launch them into technology careers through a new scheme launched today.

WhiteHat and Generation UK, with funding provided by the BlackRock Charitable Trust today welcomed applications to the Tech Talent Accelerator programme. The six-week pre-apprenticeship programme aims to boost access to job opportunities in the thriving London technology sector.

Many young people face barriers to employment since access to digital skills training is often expensive and selective. The UK is also facing a skills gap crisis which costs businesses £4.4bn each year with more than two-thirds (68%) of employers struggling to find workers with the right skills.

The Tech Talent Accelerator programme aims to democratise access to desirable software engineering jobs for young Londoners and to build a sustainable, diverse, tech talent pipeline for businesses.

The free course consists of a series of data analytics and software engineering bootcamps over six weeks in London. Upon completion, participants can apply for level 4 apprenticeships in data analytics and software engineering provided by a pool of leading employers brought together by WhiteHat.

With equivalent bootcamps costing up to £5,000, the Tech Talent Accelerator creates an attainable pathway into the best careers in technology. The programme is committed to training 100 learners during 2020 and 2021, with the first intake taking place in March 2020.

Sophie Adelman, Co-founder of WhiteHat said,

“Businesses are facing an unprecedented skills crisis, while at the same time many young people are reporting that they are locked out of the best career opportunities. This course will aim to redress that balance and democratise access into the best companies at the heart of London’s booming technology sector.

“Through this bootcamp young Londoners will be provided with the skills they require to compete for the very best jobs and employers will gain access to the diverse talent they need to thrive.”

Michael Houlihan, CEO of Generation UK commented,

“We see lots of opportunity to bridge the gap between employers who are struggling to find the hires they need, and the thousands of talented people not currently on their radar. These are large groups of exceptionally talented young people who have previously faced barriers to employment, that employers should absolutely be looking to hire, if supported with the right training programme and holistic support. This program, developed in partnership with WhiteHat, is an exciting example of what can be built around the apprenticeship scheme in particular. By focussing on skill sets that the tech sector desperately needs more of, these programmes can also help to address the digital skills crisis currently facing the UK.”

“Through initiatives such as these we hope to inspire industry to think differently about their recruitment methods and opportunities, raising awareness of talent pools and the wider benefits of widening access to career opportunities.”

Sarah Melvin, head of BlackRock UK, said,

“As part of BlackRock’s commitment to advance a more inclusive and sustainable society, we are delighted to be able to help make the programme a reality. Whitehat and Generation UK are providing young people, typically underserved with essential skills and opportunity, to access highly rewarding and fulfilling careers in the technology sector.”

The Tech Talent Accelerator programme is for 18-24 year old, non-graduates, who are not in education, employment or training (NEET). They may experience the following circumstances or barriers to employment:

  • Living in a neighbourhood with high levels of deprivation.
  • Have experienced time in local authority care.
  • Have or have had refugee status.
  • Have dependents or caring responsibilities.

To apply for the Tech Talent Accelerator programme, potential participants can visit