Shaping the future of tech

04 May 2018

As a leading credit reference agency and a business which specialises in data, analytics and software, we’re empowering students in the UK and internationally to take on the world of technology.

Close to home at our head office in Leeds, we’re working with local secondary schools to help nurture and inspire the next generation, and highlighting to girls, in particular, the opportunities for a career in the world of technology.

Earlier this year, our colleagues supported students across three Leeds secondary schools by mentoring them through a business simulation game to develop employability and enterprise skills. We also ran an onsite workshop for 24 Year 10 students (aged 14 to 15) from the Rodillian Academy in Wakefield to give them their first experience of a workplace.

Our corporate responsibility consultant, Sarah Shaw, explains: “We’re working with a number of schools to help students build confidence and employability skills for their future careers, whatever they may be, but we’re also keen to introduce more girls to the world of tech and all it offers. This industry is one which is still very much male-dominated, and that’s something we want to see an end to.

“However, to effect that kind of change is a long-term ambition and it starts by focusing on the future. Breaking down the barriers early on and encouraging girls to recognise their own potential and to embrace the future of technology is where we can really start to make a positive impact.”

We have already visited Bradford Girls' Grammar School - where English is a second language for many - and delivered workshops on interview techniques and CV skills. Following an interview process using their new skills, a group of nine students will now take on a week-long work experience project here at our head office, to get a real insight into the day-to-day workings of a technology business, as part of our #GirlsIntoTech initiative.

Further afield at our Lithuania office, we’ve implemented a ‘Future engineers’ programme to introduce school students aged 14 to 18 to different fields of engineering, including aviation engineering, mechanical engineering and information technology (IT). 

Around 1,500 students are expected to take part in the initiative, which combines study and workplace visits, over a two-month period.  The programme has already begun, with students from secondary schools in Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipėda visiting two workplaces and a higher education institution during their day-long introduction to engineering.

Katryna Varasinskaite, our communications manager in Lithuania, comments: “With this project we’re reaching out to students that may not have thought a career in engineering - in one of its many forms - was an option, and showing them the different areas it spans and the routes to this career path. The first visits were very well-received and it’s been great to see the confidence and positivity generated, as these students realise the spectrum of possibilities that exist for them.”

Also in Lithuania, colleagues at our Kaunas offices are championing primary school children by raising funds and providing educational support for the ‘micro:bit for every Lithuanian kid’ project.  Our aim is to provide every fifth-grade Lithuanian child with a BBC-developed micro:bit, which will encourage them to discover IT, praise curiosity and creativity or maybe even choose careers in the tech industry in the future.

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