Graduates can apply now for Sky Betting and Gaming's Tech Academy programme in Leeds
Sky Betting and Gaming is taking applications for its Tech Academy Graduate Programme as its strives to help fill the industry's skills gap.
The Leeds-based business holds substantial growth ambitions and, like many tech businesses, it is taking a proactive approach to nurturing talent.
As well as the Graduate Programme, the Academy is home to boot camps lasting four to six weeks and focusing on helping experienced technologists to learn new coding languages or skill sets.
It also hosts workshops that provide bite-sized technical learning modules, including coding for beginners.
Academy manager Georgina Scott said there are 240,000 digital roles being advertised in the North each year but research by Tech North has found there are only 170,000 suitably skilled workers to fill the roles.
"As a business with substantial growth ambitions we have to be proactive about addressing the technical skill gaps," she said.
"One of the ways in which we currently do this is through our Tech Academy Graduate Programme which focuses on bringing on-board smart-creative graduates from all degree backgrounds (not only STEM) and providing them with the necessary training to be successful in an engineering role."
Graduates accepted onto the programme are supported in working towards a company-sponsored Masters in Digital and Technology Solutions, accredited by Sheffield Hallam University.
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Here is what some of the latest cohort had to say about their tech experience:
What made you apply to a tech grad programme?
Lydia: "I wanted an opportunity to get into a tech career that was aimed at a beginner. I had little experience in programming, but that was exactly why the Sky Betting and Gaming programme was so appealing."
Mary: "I realised in my third year of university that going into something biomedical wasn’t what I wanted. I decided to teach myself some beginner coding online and got a bit hooked. The Tech Academy allowed me to pursue a career in tech with little experience and learning on the job."
Grace: "Having studied computer science, I felt many software engineering jobs expected you to start without any training. The Tech Academy stood out as it teaches us the qualities and skills that we need to be successful."
Had you always considered tech as a career?
Alexander: "I’d always been interested, but didn’t understand what jobs were out there. I began to see at university where tech can take you, and the interesting problems it could solve."
Megan: "I originally wanted to work in finance, but after an industrial placement I realised it wasn’t for me. I realised that while working for the bank I was more interested in the coding work done by the business modelling team."
Amy: "I always considered it, but as I trained to be a teacher and taught for five years I felt like, ‘this is my career choice, too late now, you’re way behind’. Then when I read what the Tech Academy was, I thought, I should give this a shot. It was 100 per cent the best choice I have made."
What did you know about coding before joining the programme?
Thomas: "I’d done a little coding before joining, but nothing substantial. I don’t think this makes the programme any harder though – as no prior knowledge is assumed."
Jen: "I knew a bit about online web development but not a great deal. In my final year of university, I decided to take part in the coding incentive called Code First Girls, that trains women in IT skills."
What have you found interesting so far?
Kyla: "I’ve found learning about the importance of safer gambling interesting and also getting to grips with Agile through interactive workshops."
Kate: "Safer gambling and why it’s so important to this industry."
What advice would you give someone applying?
Dean: "Show your personality and an eagerness to learn."
Kate: "No question is a silly question. Smile, be yourself and remember that you don’t need to know everything about technology."
The latest window for graduates to apply has now opened, with applications being taken until the end of November.
Visit the Sky Bet Careers website to find out more.