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</Digital Bootcamp in business to make graduates work-ready>

Published on 28 February 2019 by web editor

Case Studies

A pioneering bootcamp is set to ensure graduates hit the ground running when they move from university life into the workplace.

The University of Sunderland is piloting a scheme that aims to bridge the gap between study and employment for Computer Science graduates.

From March 2019, up to 10 graduates will take part in the project which aims to provide industry-led ‘top-up’ skills linked to opportunities with North East companies.

Lecturer pictured at the digital bootcamp

If successful, the scheme – dubbed a Digital Bootcamp – could be spread out across the IoC consortium in a bid to fast-track graduates into positions with SMEs and global giant tech firms.

Ten companies based in the North East have already signed up to the scheme in a bid to support the graduates through the bootcamp.

Steve Blanks, who represents the IoC at the University of Sunderland, is overseeing the bootcamp.

He said: “Essentially, we are going to take some of our Computer Science graduates and put them through a number of bootcamps, focusing on their soft and technical skills, their presentation techniques, making sure they are interview-ready and giving them the mentoring and support they need to get the job they want.

“Specialist coaches will be brought in to help, and we’ll be using cutting edge training techniques, like putting the graduates into a ‘simulation agency’ for the day and seeing how they perform.”

The 10 companies who have signed up have expressed willingness to interview the participating graduates for possible roles.

Steve said: “This may be a pilot, but businesses are looking at this programme and they know that those taking part will be able to hit the ground running.”

The bootcamp is being supported by Digital Union, the largest network of digital, creative and technology businesses in the North East.

Digital Union helped shape the format of the bootcamps by reaching out to its members to identify the core skills they look for when taking on graduate or junior developers. In addition, a number of members have committed to interviewing the candidates following the course.

Jim Mawdsley, CEO at business support agency Generator, which runs Digital Union, said: “This is a fantastic example of education and industry working together to address the real-life needs of digital and tech companies that require work-ready graduates.

“We frequently hear from our members that while graduate developers often have the technical coding skills required, they lack other essential skills such as commercial awareness, communication and presentation training or working as part of a team.

“This is an exciting and much-needed pilot that has the potential to help reduce the skills gap in the region by getting the right people, with the right skills, in the right jobs.”

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