Young people from South Tyneside have been given a unique insight into careers in the region’s technology sector thanks to a new course being delivered by Sunderland Software City.
Go Re-Boot is a 6-day programme designed to give young people not in employment, education or training an overview of different careers and training opportunities in the technology sector and support them to take the next steps to education or employment.
Delivered in partnership with South Tyneside Council, Go Re-Boot exposes participants to different technology companies, job roles and employment and training routes available to them.
The course included an introduction to coding, design and tech related exercises, as well as employability skills, CV writing and interview techniques.
During the course the students enjoyed a visit to technology company Performance Horizon Group, which established itself in South Tyneside before expanding to its current base in Newcastle, as well as guest lectures from Sunderland-based Geek Talent and Consult and Design International.
They also heard about current training opportunities from the National Careers Service, Sunderland College and Dev Academy, with five participants enrolling for further study and training, including coding lessons, traineeships and A-levels.
The course was designed and delivered by Jill McKinney, Training Manager at Sunderland Software City.
Jill said: “Go Re-Boot is not just about exposing young people who are currently NEET to career and training opportunities in the technology sector but also raising their confidence about their abilities and suitability for the sector.
“The tech sector is booming, and there aren’t enough skilled people entering the sector to satisfy the demand.
“At the same time we have 11% of the most technology-enabled generation not in education, training or employment and unaware of the career opportunities and different routes to employment available to them.
“We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the students and the number of young people who have taken a step away from being NEET and have signed up for training, work experience and traineeships after receiving a small snapshot of the opportunities in the tech sector.
“We will continue to support the students after the course; helping them to find job vacancies, work experience and training opportunities.”
Eight learners took part in the programme, and each received a certificate at a celebration event held at the Sunderland Software Centre on Wednesday 27 January.
Jay Green from Whitburn, South Tyneside completed an art and design course at South Tyneside College and signed up for the Go Re-Boot programme looking for alternatives to university courses.
19 year-old Jay said: “After completing my course I realised that university wasn’t the route I wanted to take, so I assumed I had to give up on my career goals. Go Re-Boot has helped me realise that there are other opportunities to get me on the right career path such as apprenticeships and traineeships and that most employers in the sector are looking for the right attitude rather than university qualifications.
“The programme has certainly made me feel more confident about the future and I’ve signed up for Creative Digital Media training which I am excited about starting.”
Stuart Miller, 22 from Boldon, South Tyneside said: “Go Re-Boot has opened my eyes to the number of technology companies and job opportunities there are in the North East and the different training options there are that will lead to employment.
“It is inspiring to know that there are companies out there looking for people like me with a passion for technology and that getting a job in tech isn’t as difficult as I had thought.”
Councillor John Anglin, Lead Member for Regeneration and Economy, said: “Despite the challenging labour market, this programme, funded by South Tyneside Council, has highlighted that there are wide ranging opportunities available in the booming technology sector.
“By highlighting the skillsets that our local employers need, we have been able to help our young people recognise their talents and access the training they need to make the most of these opportunities.”
The Go Re-Boot programme is taking applications for the next course due to start in February. For more information please call 0191 5623349.