Aussie start-up levels up UK’s digital skills shortage with £27M training programme
WithYouWithMe (WYWM), an Australian tech start-up dedicated to tackling the global digital skills crisis, has selected the UK as the home of its Northern Hemisphere headquarters, bringing with it more than £27M in free digital skills training places.
The investment will include employing more than 100 new UK staff in the next six months, who will deliver WYWM’s digital skills training in areas such as cyber security. They’ll also provide technical support to WYWM’s growing client base, which includes global corporations Microsoft, Accenture and EY; the Australian and Canadian governments; financial institutions including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia; and defence tech giants such as Northrop Grumman.
WYWM is a “social impact” company that lowers the barriers to entry into tech careers. It uses innovative psychometric testing to identify people with the aptitude to thrive in tech-based roles who may otherwise be overlooked. It then builds their skills to be employment-ready through accredited digital skills training.
Key to WYWM’s social impact business model is providing upskilling and recruitment opportunities to candidates from diverse talent pools by focusing on their future potential, not their past experience. The company has identified and trained more than 20,000 high performers from groups including the neurodivergent, military veterans and refugees – and also introduced more women to the typically male-dominated tech industry. The online training offered by WYWM ranges from entry-level to advanced courses across 10 of the most in-demand digital career pathways, such as data analytics, software development and cyber security.
Tom Moore, CEO and co-founder of WYWM, has been in the UK since January to oversee the company’s expansion.
“Almost a fifth of companies in the UK have a digital skills vacancy, with 14% of businesses reporting a lack of digital know-how,” said Mr Moore.
“Education and skills sit at the forefront of the Government’s levelling-up agenda, which is exploring a range of measures to ensure technical training is more responsive and relevant to real-world skills shortages.
“In a world where digital skills are vital, we want to make a difference by providing a route for those who can be left behind to get into the tech industry and be part of the solution to the UK’s skills gap.
“As part of this commitment, we’re providing 10,000 free training positions – valued at more than £27M – to the unemployed who need new skills to re-join the workforce, members of the national security sector who need to upskill and those who are neurodivergent.
“We don’t look at CVs – we look at the potential people have to become digitally savvy and succeed in areas they may have thought were off limits to them.”
WYWM has so far helped more than 20,000 jobseekers around the world get tech jobs without them having to invest years and money into training. More than 60% of those who graduate from WYWM’s tech courses have no prior technical background. Average salaries for WYWM-trained candidates range from £40,000-£50,000 – with some programme graduates earning up to £100,000.
As part of its expansion into the UK, WYWM has appointed Olly Benzecry as its new UK Chairman.
Most recently, Mr Benzecry was the Chairman and Managing Director of Accenture UK and Ireland where he had overall accountability for client service, people, and the ESG performance of this multi-billion-dollar entity. Mr Benzecry is Chair of Movement to Work and also a member of the UK Digital Economy Council.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Harvey Coyle .