Changing the face of the IT sector

Female school leavers about to enter the world of work should consider a career in IT, according to IT Apprentice Hannah Kelly.

With many IT firms looking to young people of both sexes to fill their digital skills gaps, now is the time for women to get a qualification that could lead to a career at the forefront of digital innovation.

Hannah, 26, has successfully completed an IT Professional Level 3 qualification with the support of Remit Training and with her sights firmly set on career progression, is now looking to extend her knowledge within the IT industry.

Says Hannah: “The attraction of the IT industry is the new challenge, everywhere around us IT is evolving and I want to be part of it. Providing support and guidance to customers is what I like to do and have always done and it’s been great to be able to transfer these skills to a different industry.”

The Tech Partnerships ‘The women in IT scorecard 2015 report’ illustrates that females accounted for just over one half (52%) of all Apprenticeships starts in the UK during 2013/14. Research showed that the potential in the female IT workforce is huge. Karen Price, CEO of the Tech Partnership fully agreed “It’s a big sector, it’s growing fast, it needs more people, and it needs more women. What are you waiting for? The career of a lifetime awaits.”

Hannah believes women now have the perfect chance to be at the forefront of technological advances and really make a difference to the way the world operates, she continues: “I think women are equal to men in IT roles. IT is a major part of all our lives now, it would be great to see more women in roles at all levels in the industry.”

IT Apprenticeships are seen by many as critical to securing the long term future of the UK’s digital economy. Hannah agrees: “Yes, absolutely – my knowledge and skills have increased since becoming an Apprentice. There was a vast amount I didn’t know about IT and I’ve been able to apply my new digital skills within Refer-all-Ltd, the organisation I work for.”

Stuart Stokes, Commercial Director at Refer-all Ltd, explains why their company has a positive policy in attracting more female IT roles. “We would love to help address the balance with women coming into the industry as a whole. We have been using Apprentices since May 2015 within our organisation. Our current Apprentices are 66% female and the split between men and women is close at 40/60.

We currently have three Apprentice posts which we are looking to convert to full time positions following the programme. We are creating a role specifically in customer service and two further roles in software development. Of the three Apprentices currently with us two are women.

We feel it is important to provide a route to employment to any person regardless of their background. With that in mind the Apprenticeship programme offers a framework from which we can do this. The training coupled with eager, motivated people offers a complete package to our organisation. It allows us to offer the appropriate person with the training we need to get the job done.”

National training provider, Remit Training, is working to deliver its IT Apprenticeship programme across the UK. Chris Garcia, Operations Director for Remit Training, said: “This really is a great time for school leavers to consider a career in the IT industry. Leading tech employers are demonstrating a real commitment to Apprenticeships. Young people are at the forefront of innovation and technology, helping businesses reap the benefits work-based training can offer.”

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