Social mobility charity upReach today announced the launch of its Technology Springboard programme supported by FactSet, a global financial data and technology company. The programme is designed to improve access to careers in the technology sector for UK undergraduates from less-advantaged backgrounds.
Programme participants will be offered one-to-one support from the upReach team and a FactSet volunteer mentor, who will provide support and share their own experience of forging a graduate career in the technology sector. Additional opportunities include a series of skills workshops, access to networking events, and the opportunity to apply for internships and graduate roles at FactSet and other financial or technology companies. The Technology Springboard follows the success of upReach’s Banking & Finance Springboard, which launched in August 2017 in partnership with the Bank of America Foundation.
The initial cohort of 30 students is a diverse group consisting of 12 women and 18 men, and the Technology Springboard will focus on helping them develop a career in the UK’s growing tech sector. The programme will prime participants to join an industry that has seen an increasing shortage of skills in the UK: an estimated 600,000 vacancies in digital technology are costing the country £63 billion a year according to a report published in 2018 by the Edge Foundation.*
The Technology Springboard builds on FactSet’s commitment to inspiring the next generation of technology professionals. FactSet’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme focuses on education and supports young people as they develop employability skills, move into training or work, and make informed decisions about their future.
John Craven, CEO of upReach, said: “We are very excited about the new Technology Springboard programme and the chance to work with FactSet to inspire engagement in the sector among those from less-advantaged backgrounds. The growing importance of Technology and the rise in related careers provides a great opportunity for students, and with FactSet’s support we can work to ensure that all students regardless of background can reach their full potential and access opportunities in the sector.”
Karan Patel, Regional Director, UK Client Consulting at FactSet, said: “FactSet is proud to support the upReach Technology Springboard. We think it’s beneficial to everyone – individual young people, our community, business, and our economy – to help the next generation reach their educational and career goals. As an upReach mentor, I am eager to see the progress my mentee and the cohort make in the coming months.”
upReach was founded in 2012 on a simple premise of fairness – equal access to top jobs regardless of social background. upReach is addressing this social mobility challenge. They help young people achieve their career potential by providing an intensive, personalised programme of support that addresses socio-economic barriers to graduate employment. Their comprehensive programmes are delivered in person and online, with upReach ‘Associates’ (undergraduates participating in our programmes) gaining access to activities including skills workshops, mentoring, insight events, application support and professional work experience.
They partner closely with universities, supporting the progression of their widening participation students into graduate employment by broadening horizons, raising aspirations and creating an action plan to achieve career goals. Their partner employers provide opportunities for Associates to build career knowledge, understand pathways and gain valuable experience, helping to level the playing field.
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