New pathways into the region’s digital tech sector for under-represented groups: Tech, Set, Go!

A new project is about to start in Sheffield City Region funded through the government’s Digital Skills Innovation Fund.  The aim is to address local or regional digital challenges while supporting people from under-represented groups and disadvantaged backgrounds into digital roles. 

Tech, Set, Go! will test innovative approaches to enabling women aged 18 and above to develop their digital skills – including learning to code – in order to secure opportunities in the digital sector. It will focus in particular on women who want to return to work after a period of absence, as well as women who are under-employed in low-skilled jobs, or unemployed. The project will also support autistic individuals (men or women) aged 18 and above in similar circumstances. These two target audiences have been selected as they are currently under-represented in the digital sector, which is short of skilled individuals and needs to diversify recruitment. The programme will therefore benefit both individuals and employers.

Tech, Set, Go! is being delivered in Sheffield City Region by a specialist digital skills consortium consisting of Sero Skills, working with Bright Box Maker Space and the Developer Academy. The Tech, Set, Go! consortium is looking to collaborate with partners across the region to maximise opportunities for the target audiences identified above.

The programme is starting in June and will run to end of December 2019.

What is the Tech, Set, Go! offer?

Tech, Set, Go! will offer fun community engagement activities focused on families, followed by community drop-in events with one-to-one diagnostic interviews, digital taster activities and information about careers in the digital sector. 

Those who are interested and eligible will be able to join a free eight-week training course in web development and coding, either online or in person, followed by a two-week work experience opportunity to work on real-life business challenges.

Those involved in training and work experience will have mentoring support with a view to progressing into work or further study. The training course has been developed with employers in the digital sector and employers will be involved as much as possible throughout the programme.

This is a great opportunity for eligible individuals to enhance their digital capabilities and knowledge, and boost their employability and career prospects. Participants will need to have a minimum level of digital skills and experience to ensure that the training course is right for them.

How can you help?

If you are working in the community, either directly with our target audiences or with organisations who are likely to be in touch with our target audiences, would you be happy to pass on information through your channels? We will soon have a website and both online and printed promotional materials.   

We are looking to work in seven different communities across Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield. Do you have links with community organisations we can approach?

The delivery team has strong links with employers in the digital sector but are always looking for more. Would you be able to alert your employer contacts to this opportunity?

If you are able to help with any of the above, please contact liz.wallis@sero.co.uk who is the delivery manager for Tech, Set, Go!

Wider partnership

This project is part of a wider collaboration with East Midlands Chamber which covers Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. East Midlands Chamber is piloting an alternative approach to engaging under-represented groups in digital opportunities. The lessons learnt from both projects will be externally evaluated for the Digital Skills Innovation Fund pilot to identify sustainable opportunities for continuing beyond the pilot.