Last month we hosted a group of 40 unemployed 18-24-year-olds, as part of a drive to give disadvantaged young people a taste of working in tech.
For our society to flourish we need to harness latent talent wherever it is, regardless of background. Technology is the foundation for our future and we need to use every opportunity to give the unemployed the confidence and skills to maximise that latent talent for themselves and the rest of society. This is something which the Tech Camp scheme hopes to address.
This is why we were proud to be one of the big technology brands in the capital to be involved in such a fantastic initiative. The world is increasingly reliant on technology – see our Digital Inside Out report to see just how fundamental tech will be in future society. Our role as an industry leader is to give people from all backgrounds the opportunity to be part of this exciting sector.
Digital Skills Agency Managing Director Ed Baker, who runs the project, said: “For this group of people, many are not from a digital background.
“While they may have opted to study in the technology space, they actually have very few personal experiences like presenting their own creative idea in front of a group of experts.
“This intensive programme is an opportunity for them to connect with the industry, and learn what it’s like to be a digital professional.”
As part of the pre-employment programme, it sees young people are taken to several company headquarters to experience different working environments across five days. It includes workshops and breakout sessions to help teach key employment skills. At the end of the week, they were introduced to apprenticeship providers and digital employers, with the potential to be offered a job at the end of it.
To hear how beneficial this sort of programme is to young people, we spoke to Scott Jennings who attended the day. Scott said he had struggled to find work within his chosen career path, despite holding a university degree.
“I found that the Job Centre wasn’t very supportive or indeed interested in helping me apply my skills gained through education to within the digital sector,” he said.
“Instead, they focused on transferring my skills into retail and warehouse roles. I lost a lot of confidence, struggled to find motivation and couldn’t see any viable career options.
“Tech Camp provided me with a variety of ways to utilise my dormant skills, in many ways, improving upon them and developing new skills. This ultimately led to a resurgence in my confidence and opened my eyes to new career options.”
Fujitsu Distinguished Engineer Kevin Yeo was one of our team involved in the day, and he led a breakout session on the Internet of Things. He said the reaction from the young people taking part could not have been any better.
“It was the first time I’ve been involved in an event like this,” he said. “I was very impressed with how keen was to participate and they really wanted to be a part of it.
“Everyone had all done their research about Fujitsu and the group were really participating with social media around the whole day.
“I found it incredibly interesting to engage in conversation and create ideas with them. Everyone came up with lots of different ideas, and our job was to help them work them through.
“A sticking point can be having a great idea but not knowing how to execute it in real life – thinking about details such as budgets, logistics and regulations.
“I think the biggest thing they got out of it was being put in front of a room of real industry experts, and seeing if their ideas can work. That experience in itself is invaluable.”
Jon is CTO for Fujitsu in the UK & Ireland and founding Fujitsu Fellow leading the Fujitsu Distinguished Engineer programme. Find out more about the programme here. You can also follow him on Twitter @jonwrennall
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