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Free tech academy launches to upskill 100,000 students

Over 100,000 of the UK’s students and recent graduates are set to receive critical digital skills training in the next five years as part of Bright Network’s new Technology Academy, launching today – with the aim of creating the largest free digital skills training programme for undergraduates and graduates in the UK.

Bright Network, the leading platform that unites the next generation of bright talent with global employers and fast growth businesses such as Google, Capgemini, and Accenture, aims to provide students across the UK with the vital tech skills needed to secure a high value role within the UK’s tech sector – and responds to a digital skills gap that is currently costing employers £141bn a year.

Students and recent graduates will benefit from free software training, including coding languages such as Python3. Over the next five years, 1,000s of graduates will enrol in a free instructor-led 12-week Full Stack Web Development boot camp, with the option of securing a no-obligation 3-month placement at a top company, and potentially, a permanent role.

With the latest unemployment statistics revealing employment among 16-24 years olds is at a record low, Bright Network’s Technology Academy aims to provide young people across the country with access to the essential digital skills to support their career opportunities – and responds to research published today by Bright Network which finds three quarters (72%) of students feel they do not have the required digital skills for the world of work.

The research also finds a further three quarters (71%) of the UK’s Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) graduates are hopeful of securing a job in the UK’s £184bn tech sector2.

Despite the high number of STEM graduates eyeing a role in the sector, which employs more than a fifth of the workforce in the UK’s biggest cities3, 2 in 5 (44%) STEM graduates do not feel prepared to enter the working world and a further 2 in 5 (39%) feel that a lack of previous experience will be their primary barrier to accessing jobs in the sector.

James Uffindell, Founder & CEO of Bright Network, commented: “Our Technology Academy provides a solution to any graduate looking to secure employment, at a time in which we know the jobs market has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. We provide this training at no cost to graduates, and with no obligation to take up the role we provide them with, while our Bootcamp aims to supercharge the supply of top-in-class software developers, and increase diversity in this crucial profession.

“Given the uncertainty facing the UK’s economy, it’s more important than ever that we ensure our graduates are as work-ready as possible, and that we’re supporting employers by ensuring a sufficient supply of bright, skilled graduates to drive the next phase of growth for the UK’s tech ecosystem.”

Research from the study reveals STEM graduates are most likely to be searching for training on learning new coding languages (46%) in order to boost their chances of securing a role in the tech sector, while a quarter (24%) are seeking a deep understanding of how to use data analytics tools such as Tableau and SQL.

The insights come following recent research by Bright Network’s Talent Tracker, that found COVID-19 has continued to hamper graduate expectations about career prospects, with 65% of all graduates not confident about securing a graduate role, and 85% feeling more under pressure over their career search due to uncertainty caused by the pandemic.