From education to employment

EyUp Skills welcomes first cohort of students in mission to plug digital skills gap

EyUp Skills (@EyUpSkills) has welcomed the first cohort of students in its mission to plug the digital skills gap and boost personal, social and economic wellbeing in South Yorkshire.

Launched by tech entrepreneur David Richards, the new company is teaching people the most in-demand methods used in software development.

EyUp Skills is partnering with leading provider iO Academy to deliver the award-winning coding course in Sheffield. The 16-week programme teaches students all they need to know to get their first job as a software developer and has been ranked among the best coding bootcamps in the world.

The first cohort is made up of seven students – four females and three males from diverse backgrounds and aged between 20 and 46.

Ava is a former film studies student who worked in various entry-level positions while pursuing a career in the arts. She became interested in coding and joined the course to better herself after becoming unemployed during the pandemic. Her ambition is to use tech to help people with learning disabilities. Ava said:

“iO Academy was my first choice based on reviews and when I saw it was launching in Sheffield with EyUp Skills it was the perfect opportunity.”

Eleanor is a forensic science graduate who spent six years working in bartending and is now “getting down and dirty with some code”. She said of software development:

“It’s like a logic puzzle, I find it challenging and extremely satisfying.” Eleanor is dreaming of a new house with a garden and more space for her pets and an awesome job that she loves.

Jake did a masters in mathematics and worked as an assistant supervisor at a dry lining contractor. He is learning to code to increase his employability and develop his problem-solving skills. Jake said: “It’s a great way to get in-person teaching without having to spend three years on a degree.” He aims to find a career that is challenging and enjoyable.

Damon did not attend university and has worked in a wide variety of roles over the past two decades, including administration, retail, telemarketing and the police service. He looked into coding in his spare time and a friend recommended EyUp Skills. Damon said:

“I am so glad they did. The course introduction has been very welcoming and the teaching style and training has surpassed anything I have experienced or could have expected.”

David Richards, founder of EyUp Skills, said:

“We’re thrilled with our first cohort of students and excited at their potential to become great software developers. As CEO of a successful technology company, I know their skills will be in great demand and I am confident they will find rewarding careers after they complete our course. Skills development is key to economic regeneration and we are delighted to be playing our part, starting in South Yorkshire.”

EyUp Skills operates a bursary scheme to fund course places for people from disadvantaged backgrounds or who are under-represented in the tech sector. All applicants are evaluated on aptitude rather than experience as part of the assessment process. To find out about joining the next cohort, please visit here.

David Richards is the co-founder, CEO and chairman of WANdisco plc, which is jointly headquartered in Sheffield and Silicon Valley. The company operates the WANdisco Data Academy in partnership with The Sheffield College. David is co-founder of the David and Jane Richards Family Foundation, a UK-registered education charity which works with schools to inspire creativity, create advocates for a greener society and support learning with engaging activities and resources.

iO Academy helps people into new careers in tech, teaching them everything they need to know to become a software developer in just 16 weeks. Named as one of the top 10 coding bootcamps in the world, the Academy is rated five stars on industry ranking sites SwitchUp and Course Report. iO Academy is committed to improving diversity in tech, and works with a range of partners to improve access and representation.

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