upReach and The Hg Foundation announce major new partnership to boost opportunities for disadvantaged students to access careers in the technology sector
Designed to tackle the known socio-economic diversity challenges in tech, this ground-breaking partnership creates a new tailored programme of support for 500 undergraduates from disadvantaged backgrounds (the “upReach Tech500”) who are looking to secure graduate roles in the sector. Through close collaboration with leading technology employers, upReach will deliver a comprehensive programme of exclusive training, networking and development opportunities. These will be available to the upReach Tech500, and a further 2,500 students from lower socio-economic backgrounds all over the UK (all known as “Associates”).
In February 2021, research from The Bridge Group and The Sutton Trust concluded that “the tech workforce is unrepresentative of the UK workforce with respect to socio-economic background” with three times the proportion of employees from private school backgrounds than the broader UK population. The research also revealed “ways in which socio-economic background intersects with gender.” The partnership aims to tackle this “double disadvantage,” supporting under-represented groups.
While the rapidly growing technology sector has become a preferred career choice for ambitious graduates, there are significant barriers faced by those from disadvantaged backgrounds:
- Low awareness of the breadth of roles available and how the sector works.
- Inferior professional networks, career advice and work experience opportunities.
- Limited access to science/technology capital.
- High quality training is often expensive or inaccessible.
Students in the upReach Tech500 will participate in an intensive programme designed to overcome these obstacles, including Skills Workshops, Employer Insight Days and Career Academies to broaden horizons. Each Associate will receive personalised careers support from a dedicated upReach Programme Coordinator throughout their time at university, with CV and application reviews, mock interviews and general 1-to-1 support. Each participant will take part in a two week Summer Bootcamp preparing them for internship applications, these often being the gateway to competitive graduate jobs.
Equally, success in careers in other sectors is increasingly dependent on having a broad range of technology-related skills. The partnership therefore also focuses on delivering a core programme of digital skills training to all other Associates on upReach’s programmes, anticipated to be a further 2,500 students in 2021/22 alone.
Since 2012, upReach have successfully delivered similar programmes of support in a range of sectors such as Banking & Finance, Law, Professional Services and the Investment Industry, working in close partnership with over forty different employers.
The new programme will be supported by The Hg Foundation, a grant-giving charity with a defined focus on education and technology. This support will enable upReach to significantly grow the number of partnerships with technology firms, providing important development opportunities to Associates, whilst supporting the firms to achieve their graduate recruitment diversity objectives. In addition, Jennifer Hamilton, will join the organisation as a Trustee. Jennifer is a Senior Associate at Hg, a leading global software and services investor, which supports The Hg Foundation.
John Craven, Chief Executive of upReach, commented:
“This new partnership will transform the opportunities that students from disadvantaged backgrounds have in securing graduate roles in the technology sector, engaging leading employers in the social mobility challenge. At a time when digital skills have never been more important in every sector, I’m delighted that this partnership will also enable every Associate on upReach’s programme to access technology training opportunities to help them excel in their careers. I’m incredibly grateful to The Hg Foundation for their generous financial commitment beyond the programme that will help upReach achieve sustainable growth in our broader activities in the medium term.”
Richard Donner, Trustee of The Hg Foundation, added:
“The Hg Foundation focuses on intervention in education and technology where impact is measurable, long term and scalable. The upReach Tech500 programme aligns very closely to these three goals. The programme will look to implement a rigorous methodology of tailored engagement, with the detailed use of data to measure impact. We are excited about the positive benefits this will bring to the ambitious number of Associates we’re looking to engage.”
Jennifer Hamilton, Senior Associate at Hg, added:
“Careers in technology continue to be in demand across the workplace. We’re committed to remove barriers to those wishing to pursue these careers and we’re confident that upReach’s support, alongside The Hg Foundation’s network in technology, will contribute to this, through a comprehensive programme of development opportunities for undergraduates from disadvantaged backgrounds.”
John Craven (Chief Executive) Email: John.Craven@upreach.org.uk Tel: 07971274469
Richard Donner (Trustee, The Hg Foundation) Email: Richard.Donner@hgcapital.com
About upReach: upReach are an award-winning social mobility charity that supports over 2,000 students from less-advantaged backgrounds to secure top graduate jobs, in partnership with leading organisations including Bank of America, Civil Service Fast Stream, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey and Slaughter and May. A team of 45 employees provide personalised support helping to broaden horizons, raise aspirations and enable students from low socioeconomic backgrounds to develop the skills, networks and experiences to succeed on merit. upReach won Charity of the Year in 2019 at the Charity Times Awards, and won the 2020 Embracing Digital Award in the Charity Governance Awards.
About The Hg Foundation: The Hg Foundation is a grant-giving charity with a defined focus on education and technology. Our goal is to support those who may otherwise experience barriers to access, with the acquisition of skills that are often required for employment within the technology industry. We aim to achieve this by providing funding and operational support to charitable schemes and partnerships across the UK, USA and Europe where we can demonstrate measurable, long-term and scalable impact and make a difference to those that need it most. These partnerships include Sponsors for Educational Opportunity’s SEO Tech Developer programme in the USA; a partnership with Imperial College London providing a variety of interventions for Further Maths A-Level students; and The Tutor Trust, which is testing a pilot hybrid online /offline tutoring scheme to support interventions under the UK’s National Tutoring Programme. The Hg Foundation is registered Charity no. 1189216.
For more information please visit the website at www.thehgfoundation.com.