Jobseekers learn digital skills to fill London IT vacancies

30 Jun 2023
A pool of work-ready jobseekers with new skills learned at an IT bootcamp are ready to help fill London’s chronic digital talent shortage.

Thirty participants who took part in the four-week online training programme acquired the knowledge that will equip them for a wide range of IT roles.

The jobseekers were identified for the course by Ingeus, which provides enhanced employment support to people on out-of-work benefits through the Government’s Restart Scheme across Central and West London.

It funded the bootcamp, which focused on the computer coding language Python but also gave participants other skills that would benefit London businesses currently desperate to fill 29,000 IT jobs.

The scheme was launched in partnership with CodeVerse, which specialises in running technology courses for under-represented groups including those from low socio-economic backgrounds and people with neurodiverse conditions.

CodeVerse Head of Training Gautham Pai, said: “The learners came away from the bootcamp not just knowing more about computer programming but also how to use their new knowledge to learn other skills.

“The kind of IT roles these people can take up is diverse and I would urge employers not to be fixated on specific technology skills. Instead they should look for people who are hungry to learn and have already demonstrated the effort to take on board the knowledge a job requires. 

“I saw a lot of enthusiasm from the participants and the way Ingeus screened them, the communication we had beforehand and how seriously they took it meant it was one of the most successful boot camps we have ever run.

“The percentage of learners achieving a higher level of skills was double what we would normally see.”
Several of the top performers at the bootcamp have been identified as ready to take on jobs with CodeVerse clients, including a global tech consultancy, after role-specific training.

The others are considered capable, with additional support, to take on less technical IT roles initially, before moving on to more senior jobs.

At the same time the scheme will help employers prove their social value to local communities by hiring people who otherwise might not have had such life-changing opportunities.

The bootcamp participants had their achievements recognised at an awards ceremony at Ingeus’s Hammersmith centre.

All those who completed the course received certificates highlighting their new skills and are being given help to update their CVs and guidance on jobs to apply for.

Among the top performers was Karolis, who had trained in coding but been unable to find a job, so moved into hospitality management.

He said: “The bootcamp wasn’t easy, not just learning how to code but understanding the principles behind it to give you a better grounding.

“Tech jobs are better paid than hospitality jobs and offer the possibility of working from home. With the skills I’ve learned at the bootcamp, that seems more achievable now.”

Another top performer, Max, had worked in hairdressing, construction and security after being unable to turn her university IT training into a career.

She said: “The bootcamp and the support of Ingeus has given me confidence I can get an IT job.

“That would mean freedom because, being unemployed, I’m free in terms of time but not free in terms of money. Getting a wage every month would be good, especially with the price of everything going up.”

Ingeus’s Head of Employer Services in London Jonty Rooke said: “This is a more advanced level of vocational training than normally offered under the Restart Scheme.

“It demonstrates our commitment to working with businesses to provide the skills they need.

“The high number of learners completing the bootcamp is proof of the effectiveness of our screening programme, the engaging nature of the CodeVerse training and the quality of the candidates.”

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