Doing our bit to widen access to IT jobs

We’ve been taking part in events around Scotland to widen access to careers in IT. Our HR Manager, Aisling MacDonnell, explains what we’ve been doing.

Photo: Girls in ICT © ITU/R.Farrell, used under Creative Commons

Widening access to careers in our sector is extremely important to CompanyNet. We’re proud to live by our slogan, ‘collective intelligence for better business’ – something that only works when it brings together the broadest range of talented people.

To that end, we’ve not only been attending more events about improving equality in the technology sector, but have been actively participating in them.

Gender balance

In March, we attended an event called Women in ICT and Digital Technologies: Action for Change. It was hosted by Skills Development Scotland, and looked at gender imbalance in our sector.

We met a mix of educational bodies and private sector companies, who discussed how we can all do more to address the issue. CompanyNet is part of an ongoing study in this area, and will continue to take part in finding ways to make the sector more open to women.

IT: the next generation

In April, we attended a careers event at Dynamic Earth here in Edinburgh. Part of a series of nationwide events organised by Skills Development Scotland and their Digital World campaign, the event communicated the huge opportunities for careers in technology with the aim of inspiring schoolchildren to think about this sector ahead of making their subject choices.

The event was designed to be more interactive and hands-on than a typical careers fair. Sessions featured industry speakers explaining how they got involved in the sector; interactive workshops with kids taking part in coding using the Raspberry Pi, and an industry exhibition with a mix of local and national employers, with mini activities at each of their stands.

Young people learned about the breadth of IT roles available. We got them excited about technology, showing them how it can be combined with other interests like music, marketing and medicine. We helped them understand the various routes into an IT career, with a focus on apprenticeships and the fact they don’t have to do a university degree.

We also attended the “Informed, Inspired, Hired” Young Persons’ Jobs Roadshow in April, where we had a stand and spoke with fifth- and sixth-year students getting ready to embark on their careers.

Talking to teachers

Last month, we spoke at a special session at Skills Development Scotland in Glasgow, raising awareness of digital careers with 40 guidance staff from schools across the country.

We helped the guidance teachers get a better idea of the possible routes into IT, and shared what employers really look for in candidates. The idea was to help teachers understand what skills are needed in the sector, and what subjects they can guide their students to do. We also discussed the stereotype of “IT professionals”, and how far removed it is from the reality of the modern sector.

At all these events, we were driving home some simple truths about the technology sector in 2016. There’s a multitude of career choices, both as apprentices and as graduates. Businesses aren’t looking for a stereotype, but for intelligent and enthusiastic staff who are good with people and with technology.

We are always looking for talented people to join our team. Visit our careers section to find your place.

Share this page

Leave a comment