One hundred women across the north and midlands will have the chance to retrain in the digital sector thanks to a new programme delivered by Edge Hill University in partnership with three universities and 16 tech industry partners.
Currently, women make up only 17% of the technology sector workforce, significantly lower than most other UK sectors.
The Institute of Coding (IoC) has awarded over £517,000 to launch the TechUp programme to address this shortage and recruit women wanting to start a career in technology.
The six-month programme covers modules including data science, machine learning, cyber security, project management and public speaking.
Much of the training is online allowing women to fit the learning around other commitments.
Four residential weekends will also give participants the chance to listen to industry-led talks and network with industry professionals and peers.
Dr John Cater, Vice-Chancellor at Edge Hill University, said: “Our University has a long and proud history of championing women since our pioneering role as the first non-denominational teacher training college for women.
“We were founded as an institution which broke traditional barriers for females, so I’m delighted that we’re part of this partnership promoting womens’ abilities and encouraging them to retrain in the male dominated tech sector.”
As part of the programme industry mentors will be paired up with participants to make sure they are supported and guided throughout their learning.
Professor Nik Bessis, Head of Edge Hill’s Computer Science department and Co-Investigator, said: “This is an exciting time for us to get involved in a national initiative which aims to upskill women’s digital abilities in areas such as data science and Artificial Intelligence.
“This is particularly welcomed because one of the defining characteristics of Edge Hill is its long history of female empowerment, dating back to the institution’s origins.”
Professor Ella Pereira, Principal Investigator for Edge Hill University, added: “We have been actively engaged with promoting women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) through the Athena SWAN (Scientific Women’s Academic Network) and other initiatives.
“We are absolutely delighted to be part of a successful bid supported by IoC that will help us strengthen our commitment to increasing female representation in the IT industry. This is excellent news for the University and the region it serves too.”
TechUp will be delivered by a partnership led by Durham University, working with Edge Hill, Nottingham and York Universities across the north west and midlands.