From education to employment

Leading tech employer commits to addressing the technology skills shortage by investing in degree apprenticeships

James Beard (centre) with Alan Scott and Jayne Hart

Leading tech employer tombola outlines commitment to degree apprenticeships at panel event

tombola the online entertainment business has reaffirmed its commitment to addressing the technology skills shortage by investing in degree apprenticeship courses in partnership with the University of Sunderland as part of its overall recruitment strategy.

James Beard chief operating officer of tombola was speaking at a recent business leaders panel event at The Brand Society part of Precept the brand performance business based at St Peter’s Marina in Newcastle.

He said: “Growing the pool of talented technology people is key to our growth and attracting and developing them is an important aspect of our employer brand. In the last two years we have invested in an apprenticeship degree in partnership with the University of Sunderland which is now actively growing and we’ve worked closely with Gateshead College, Newcastle College Group and Sunderland College to promote technology graduate career pathways.”

Since joining tombola over two years ago James has continued to help build upon its employer brand by supporting efforts to effectively communicate its ties to the region through initiatives which promote community engagement and career pathways into the business. tombola has grown exponentially with operations across six countries now employing upwards of 570 staff with more than 50 per cent of this total employed in and around its Sunderland offices.

He continued: “As part of the Founders4Schools program we work with local schools to educate and inspire pupils on the opportunities in technology. We are also one of a number of employers who support ‘TechUP’ a programme spearheaded by Durham University’s Professor Sue Black in partnership with the Institute of Coding to increase opportunity through networking and retraining to draw more women in to the technology sector, and we’re an active member of regional technology cluster Dynamo North East.”

This was the second in a series of events giving insight into elements of the business, branding and marketing world.

Other panellists included Jayne Hart owner of The HR Dept a specialist North East based HR consultancy, Alan Scott commercial director at Hive HR a flexible employee feedback platform, Jon Dudgeon a co-founder of Newcastle and North Shields based firm of chartered accountants Blu Sky Accounting.

Nick Johnson, owner at Precept, said: “We’re delighted how this event has gone and very grateful to all the panellists for their contribution. We have an active and growing business community here at St Peter’s Marina, and in the wider region a burgeoning technology sector of which staff are the most valuable asset.”

Nick launched brand performance business Precept ten years ago at the age of 24. He also launched the The Brand Society last year, an events and workspace venue aimed at supporting the local business community.

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