Addressing the digital skills gap with Ahead Partnership

Aire Logic joined a careers panel at the University Technical College (UTC) Leeds and Co-op Academy Leeds, fielding questions from 14 to 16-year-olds interested in working in the digital and tech sector.

Building a diverse digital talent pipeline

It was our first event collaborating with Ahead Partnership, who work closely with young people across the UK to boost their employability. This organisation is close to our heart: focusing on improving social mobility, diversity and inclusion by bringing opportunities to those who are underrepresented in the tech sector. 

Co-op Academy Leeds is one of the top performing multi-academy trusts for disadvantaged students – empowering teachers and young people to work together for better education and community. 

UTC Leeds develops students who will make a valuable contribution to society and the engineering industry by providing project opportunities that provide solutions to real employers.

Helping to strengthen young people's employability

Faced with an audience of hundreds of bright and enthusiastic young people, our team joined panellists from across IT and technology consulting and other industries like construction, the Royal Air Force and the Police. The students involved posed great questions to the business panellists, like "How much money do you make? Is it boring sitting behind a screen all day? What advice would you give to someone interviewing at your company? What's the best route into tech?" and "What do you look for on a CV?"

Gaining a sense of purpose through volunteering

The experience was rewarding for all of our panellists who volunteered to help young people understand the skills needed for a career in tech and the types of jobs available. 

Ali, one of our delivery managers, observed, "It was a great opportunity to represent the company. It was a lovely event and a chance to share a few tips with the young people about developing skills employers look for and building resilience when job hunting. The "how much do you get paid" question was the highlight!" 

While Richard, our bid manager, added, "I really enjoyed the experience. It's a great way to speak to young people about an important subject at an important time in their lives before deciding on their A-Levels and what routes to take into employment. We raised awareness of who we are, what we do and (hopefully) dispelled some myths about the tech industry".

Future partnership work

Our work with Ahead Partnership doesn't stop here. Several of our colleagues across digital and tech specialisms, including software development, user-centred design and business analysis, will be attending events at schools in Leeds from November through to April next year as part of their award-winning Growing Talent Digital Leeds programme. 

We also plan to design and deliver future events with our social enterprise partner through the programme, extending even more opportunities to thousands of young people across the city. 

Find out about the exciting programme Growing Talent Digital Leeds we are sponsoring.