In our quest to create opportunities for young people whose background could limit their potential, we're excited to be launching our brand-new programme in partnership with global technology company The Workshop, to help disadvantaged young people develop new skills and access careers in the technology industry.

The Workshop creates and builds software that powers financial technology and online gaming platforms over the world. Their team of over 400 inventors represent over 30 nationalities and speak more than 20 languages, with offices in London and Malaga, Spain.

We're partnering with The Workshop to create AIM, a programme of one-to-one mentoring, skills sessions and career insight that will help A-level students from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds to gain knowledge, advice and experience to shape their future careers in technology.

With Aim, we're particularly focusing on supporting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who have an interest in technology, and especially young women. Research has shown that 67% of technology employees come from professional backgrounds, and only 31% of employees in the industry are female. A study by the Bridge Group also found over 20% of people working in technology are privately educated.

To help us reach young people who will gain most from the AIM experience, we've engaged with schools local to The Workshop's London office that have higher disadvantage levels and lower employer engagement. Working with these schools, we've engaged students in sessions to develop their mindset for mentoring and explore their future aspirations, from which they've applied to be part of the AIM programme to help them realise their ambitions to work in technology. 

Kiru Raguraman, Chief of Staff at The Workshop, said: "At The Workshop, we have an ardent belief in going fearlessly forward, the power of collaboration, and striving for excellence in everything we do. These values give us the energy to push harder and go farther, and understand that when you keep an open mind, everything is possible. We'd like to pass these values down to younger generations, giving them space to discover and develop their talents, and daring them to dream big!"

She added: "As a leading technology company, it's up to us to help improve the skills shortage in STEM areas, as well as pushing for more equal opportunities for women within the tech industry. Through this programme, we hope to show what can be achieved in the STEM world, and inspire young people with the confidence that they could be the ones to achieve it."

Visionpath's founder, Patrick Philpott, wants AIM to demystify careers in technology: "So many young people want to work in tech but often think you have to be able to code, or that you need to have studied computer science, or thinking it's a place for 'someone like me'. With AIM we want to show a different side to the industry with a really exciting, fast-growing employer, and really unlock the huge variety of career options available."

From October 2021 we're embarking on the AIM mentoring journey, with 16 young people selected for mentoring from schools in the London boroughs of Bexley, Ealing, Greenwich, Islington, Southwark and Tower Hamlets. Each will be mentored by a member of The Workshop's team - some based in Spain, who work in functions across the business. From software engineering and architecture, to data analytics, project management and HR. We can't wait to see how these journeys of mentoring take shape.

If your business wants to make a difference in your communities and drive social diversity in your workforce, get in touch with our team to find out more about how we can help you realise your aims.