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In the News

FDM Group taps Tech UK chair Jacqueline de Rojas to join board

Print and web https://www.cityam.com/fdm-group-taps-tech-uk-chair-jacqueline-de-rojas-to-join-board/

FDM appoints Jacqueline de Rojas CBE as a non-executive director

https://investing.thisismoney.co.uk/news/article/id/6603322

Britain’s drone crime explosion: Police complaints soar to six a day amid fears the devices are being used to spy on children and homes

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7042529/Britains-drone-crime-explosion-Police-complaints-soar-six-day

Skills shortage costs #STEM sector £1.5bn every year, but computing in schools is still in ‘steep decline’

https://www.fenews.co.uk/press-releases/29244-computing-in-schools-in-steep-decline

Gender gap still evident in STEM subject preference

https://www.qaeducation.co.uk/3dissue/qa116

Sector response to overcoming girls’ misconceptions of science, technology, engineering and mathematics #STEM subjects

https://www.fenews.co.uk/press-releases/25621-minister-calls-to-challenge-girls-misconceptions-of-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-subjects

Workers more likely to leave companies that fail to address diversity problems- Expert Comment

http://www.onrec.com/news/opinion/workers-more-likely-to-leave-companies-that-fail-to-address-diversity-problems-expert

May accused of ‘destroying police service’ [Print]

Digital skills are critical for tackling the rising tide of cybercrime

https://www.helpnetsecurity.com/2018/12/17/digital-skills-tackling-cybercrime/

Why the gender pay gap is more than just a HR issue [Print]

Press Releases

FDM Group, a professional services provider with a focus on IT, has been named as Diversity Star Performer (1000+ employees) in the Herald and GenAnalytics national Diversity Awards 2017.

Sheila Flavell, FDM’s Chief Operating Officer, says: “It’s great to be recognised for our commitment to diversity. We are passionate about helping people from all walks of life have the opportunity to start a career in technology. We achieve this by hiring people based on their potential, aptitude and passion for technology regardless of their background.”

In 2016, the FDM started the careers of over 1000 people in the UK alone. Worldwide, the company employs 3000 people. It has over 75 nationalities working together and of its UK 2016 intake 31% were the first in their family to attend university and 56% attended a state school. 51% are from a BAME background. 26% of its employees and almost 50% of its senior management team are women.

Aimed at Scotland’s largest employers, the award recognises a company, organisation or third sector employer that has demonstrated an outstanding commitment and strategic leadership in ensuring diversity and inclusion is at the heart of its operations. Judges were looking for: a commitment to quality, innovation and best practice, strong, visible and effective strategic leadership on diversity and inclusion and evidence of exceptional, inspirational and measurable outcomes.

FDM Group, through its unique careers programme, helps to transition graduates, ex-Forces personnel and returners into professional IT and business consultants, providing them with high-quality training, invaluable commercial experience and lucrative career opportunities. Once trained, returners are employed as FDM consultants and are placed onsite with FDM’s clients for up to two years. After fulfilling the two-year commitment, individuals can choose to continue as a Senior FDM Consultant, they may have the opportunity to transfer to a client on a permanent basis, or they may pursue their career elsewhere.

This year FDM Group introduced its Getting Back to Business Programme to its Glasgow Academy to help people who’ve taken a career break of a year or more return to work.

Sheila adds: “Returners are another way to introduce diverse talent into teams. With the current thriving Scottish tech economy, it’s a great opportunity for them to return to the workplace. Employers can benefit hugely from the vast experience and diversity that returners bring to their teams; returners an untapped talent pool.”

Diversity is not just the right thing to do, it’s a major key to success says Frankfurt based FDM Group, a professional services company with a focus on IT. Globally women represent 26% of FDM’s employees and circa 50% of its senior management team.

Marius Gelhausen, Recruitment Manager for FDM Group in Germany, explains: “At FDM diversity is part of our DNA, it is lead from the very top and has been an important part of the company since it started 26 years ago. We are committed to hiring based on talent and potential regardless of background, ethnicity or gender. This way we have a much wider talent pool to recruit from, and as a result benefit from a broader approach to problem solving and innovation.”

As well as embedding diversity into the company’s values, the group also has various recruitment strategies in place to ensure recruiters have the tools and understanding they need. In Frankfurt specifically, as well as undergoing unconscious bias training, the group also introduced psychometric testing via DESIGMA® at its assessment centres. This provides language independent tests that do not take into account applicants’ cultural or educational background.

Marius continues: “The 45 minute online psychometric tests gives us access to detailed information that combined with feedback from face to face interviews, allow us to identify if a candidate is right to join our careers programme, and if so to which roles they may be best suited. This means that we can establish the best career path and career development plan for them from the very start and help them achieve success.

In addition, the company is also committed to sharing this detailed feedback to applicants just 24 hours after they have visited the assessment centre. The team of recruiters, made up of psychologists, provides both verbal feedback on the interview plus access to the written test results thereby helping candidates to understand their strengths and the type of roles that they may be suited to.

Marius Gelhausen, Recruitment Manager for Germany explains: “Our aim is to provide useful feedback to candidates within 24 hours, regardless of whether they are successful in our recruitment process or not. This is something we feel very strongly about, as we’re committed to helping graduates develop their careers.”

In the UK, FDM recently supported the #fightforfeedback campaign to make it a legal requirement for employers to provide feedback after a face-to-face interview organised by Debut, a graduate recruitment app.

FDM, a professional services company with a focus on IT, has been operating in Germany for 14 years, opened its training Academy in 2011 and has recently expanded it to accommodate more trainees as demand for its services grow across Germany and Austria.

This year the Frankfurt FDM team will start the careers of around 150 graduates with a variety of different degrees including STEM, IT and business studies. Graduates from every universities in Germany are eligible to apply.

Once recruited, trainees are provided with award-winning business and technical training in core disciplines such as SQL, Excel VBA and UNIX and specialised topics in our streams covering for example Business Analysis, Software Development and Business Intelligence before becoming FDM Consultants and progressing to represent FDM on client sites for 18 months.

Globally, the Group works with over 180 clients helping them achieve specific business objectives within various sectors, including financial services, media, retail and insurance. It has over 4,000 employees worldwide.

Marius concludes: “Here in Germany, FDM Group is expanding to meet the growing demand for highly skilled IT professionals across the region. It’s an exciting time to be in IT and business and through our careers programme, we kick start exciting and inspiring careers, helping bridge that gap between university and the world of work. At the same time as creating these opportunities for individuals, we also make a significant difference to the economies in which we operate.”

Further information about the FDM Careers Programme can be found at: <a href=“https://www.fdmgroup.com/de/karriere/“>https://www.fdmgroup.com/de/karriere/</a>

FDM Group, a professional services provider with a focus on IT, has been awarded the prestigious Gold status by the MOD Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS). The award is in acknowledgement of FDM’s support for the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant.FDM Group, a professional services provider with a focus on IT, has been awarded the prestigious Gold status by the MOD Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS). The award is in acknowledgement of FDM’s support for the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant.
FDM, a FTSE 250 company, provides a careers programme that specifically helps servicemen and women transition to a new career in IT and project management following dedicated training.
Stewart Sharman, Head of the FDM Ex-Forces Programme, explains: “It’s a great honour to receive this Gold award in recognition of our commitment to the Armed Forces. We are passionate about enabling ex-service personnel to start new careers in IT and project management, and overseeing their transition to the commercial world; we have now placed over 300 people who have come through our Ex-Forces programme.”
The Covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served in the British Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly. Involving government, businesses, local authorities, charities and members of the public, it has two underlying principles: that members of the armed forces should face no disadvantage compared to others in the provision of public and commercial services, and that special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given the most, including the injured and the bereaved.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said of the 33 companies awarded Gold status: “These companies have shown the gold standard of commitment to supporting members of the Armed Forces, veterans, and their families. They have taken meaningful steps to ensure the Defence community are not disadvantaged by the sacrifice they make in helping keep this country safe. The actions of these employers make it crystal clear that regardless of size, location, or sector, employing people with military skills is good for business.”
FDM’s Ex-Forces Programme, which has been running since 2014, provides professional skills development, exposure to the commercial sector, specific training in preparation to be a Project Manager, Business Analyst, Data and Operational Analyst, Tester, Developer or for a role in Production Support. Following training, individuals become FDM Consultants and are placed with clients for two years, after which they can remain with FDM, transition to the client or pursue other employment. To date, FDM has trained and placed over 300 ex-servicemen and women drawn from all ranks across each Service.
Stewart concludes: “As an international company that trains and places 1000s of FDM Consultants with over 180 clients globally, we are ideally placed to help employers understand the immense skill set that ex-forces personnel can bring to their businesses. We’re also grateful for the support that the programme has been given by every branch of the Armed Forces and the various organisations we work alongside; in particular, the White Ensign Association, Walking With The Wounded, PTSD Resolution, British Forces Resettlement Services, the Officer’s Association and the Career Transition Partnership (CTP).”
ENDSEditor’s Notes:<ol>  <li>The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise between the nation, government and the Armed Forces to treat our serving personnel, veterans and their families with fairness and respect. Corporates, charities and local authorities can sign the Armed Forces Covenant and make their own promise to support the Forces in ways of their choosing.</li>  <li>The Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) was launched in 2014 by the Prime Minister to recognise employer support for the wider principles of the Defence Armed Forces Covenant and the full spectrum of Defence personnel. This includes the Reserves, Service Leavers, Wounded Injured and Sick, Cadets, and spouses.</li>  <li>The Employer Recognition Scheme encompasses Bronze, Silver and Gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to Defence and the Armed Forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant. The awards are valid for three years, when they are reviewed.</li>  <li>For a full list of Employer Recognition Scheme Gold, Silver and Bronze winners:</li></ol><a href=“https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/defence-employer-recognition-scheme“ target=“_blank“ rel=“noopener“>https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/defence-employer-recognition-scheme</a>

SimCorp, a leading provider of investment management solutions and services to the global financial services industry, and FDM Group, an international IT and business services provider, today announce a collaboration to recruit and develop high caliber IT talent, to support SimCorp’s rapidly expanding business in North America. The FDM Group Careers Program will ensure that SimCorp NA continues to operate with the scale and flexibility required to serve its current client base, and be poised for future expansion, amidst the rapidly changing asset management industry.

Through the collaboration, FDM Group recruits and trains talented individuals who are placed at SimCorp, to work on its innovative solutions for the global investment management industry. The individuals enter SimCorp as FDM Consultants, working in business, IT and financial roles, and can become permanent SimCorp employees after a two-year period. These individuals, play an important role in SimCorp’s growing teams across New York, Chicago, Boston and Toronto. The successful joint program has also recently been rolled out to include SimCorp’s London and Paris offices.

“We are committed to this program and the opportunity it brings us to scale to our clients’ needs and be agile in our response to changing market conditions. By building a bespoke training package, we can ensure that FDM Consultants meet our high standards and that they are equipped with the essential skills required to add value to our clients” said James Corrigan, Executive Vice President &amp; Managing Director of SimCorp North America. “The strong caliber of FDM Consultants has allowed us to quickly scale our market unit teams, bringing in young and diverse talent to continually advance our cutting-edge technology. This strategic foundation is crucial in supporting SimCorp’s North American clients and the 180+ clients that rely on us worldwide.”

Rod Flavell, Chief Executive Officer, FDM Group, explains: “FDM values its collaboration with SimCorp, which demonstrates how companies can achieve real results by being innovative in the way that they invest in their talent pipeline, to give them the competitive edge. This is particularly important in the current climate, when employers are finding it difficult to recruit people with IT skills. The added benefit is that, after two years, FDM Consultants can transition to permanent employees, allowing organizations to retain the knowledge, skills and resources long-term.”

ENDS
Editor’s Notes:
About SimCorp
SimCorp provides integrated, best-in-class investment management solutions to the world’s leading asset managers, fund managers, asset servicers, pension and insurance funds, wealth managers and sovereign wealth funds. Whether deployed on premise or as an ASP solution, its core system, SimCorp Dimension, supports the entire investment value chain and range of instruments, all based on a market-leading IBOR. SimCorp invests more than 20% of its annual revenue in R&amp;D, helping clients develop their business and stay ahead of ever-changing industry demands. Listed on NASDAQ Copenhagen, SimCorp is a global company, regionally covering all of Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific. For more information, please visit <a href=“https://www.simcorp.com/“ target=“_blank“ rel=“noopener“>www.simcorp.com</a>.

FDM Group, a professional services company with a focus on IT, has today been ranked as one of the Top 50 employers in the UK’s first-ever Social Mobility Employer Index. The Index is a joint initiative between the Social Mobility Foundation and Social Mobility Commission, in partnership with the City of London Corporation.

It ranks Britain’s employers for the first time on the actions they are taking to ensure they are open to accessing and progressing talent from all backgrounds and showcases progress towards improving social mobility in the workplace. The aim of the Index is to encourage firms to share their initiatives and progress in becoming more inclusive employers and to reveal which sectors and companies are taking the issue of social mobility most seriously.

Rod Flavell, FDM Group Chief Executive Officer, says of the listing “I’m delighted that FDM Group has been recognised for the inclusive culture that we nurture in the company. Our objective is to find people with ambition, potential and the aptitude to succeed. For us, it’s not about what you are; it’s about who you are and what you can become. Having a diverse and inclusive employee base brings great advantages including diversity of thought and creativity in the team.”

In 2016, the FDM started the careers of over 1000 people in the UK alone. Worldwide, the company employs 4000 people. It has over 75 nationalities working together and of its UK 2016 intake 31% were the first in their family to attend university and 56% attended a state school. 51% of the 2016 Consultants intake are from a BAME background. 26% of its employees and almost 50% of its senior management team are women.

Research has consistently shown that people from more affluent backgrounds take a disproportionate number of the best jobs and that employers tend to disproportionately employ graduates who went to private schools and elite universities.

FDM Group has been ranked 47th in the Index for the commendable work it has taken to tackle this and enable those from lower socio-economic backgrounds to succeed. Measures taken by the company to improve social mobility include: being degree agnostic and recruiting from a wide range of universities, using tests at later stages of the recruitment process after meeting the candidates, and using strength based questions to remove the bias of social capital that can help some candidates in competency-based questions. FDM’s graduate recruitment team has also been trained in unconscious bias.

Firms from 17 sectors submitted entries about their practices and procedures in areas such as work with young people, recruitment, selection and progression. The final rankings were decided by a respected panel of experts and all firms will receive a report with recommendations for areas for improvement.

FDM’s success in the Index will be announced today at a launch event at the City of London and in a supplement in The Times newspaper.

David Johnston, chief executive of the Social Mobility Foundation, said: “All the Top 50 firms in the Social Mobility Employer Index should be applauded for the progress they are making towards ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to get in and get on – regardless of their background. They should be congratulated both for having prioritised social mobility and for being prepared to have their processes and practices independently scrutiinised.”

The Rt Hon Alan Milburn, chair of the Social Mobility Commission, added: “Social mobility is hugely important if the UK is to become more productive and make the most of its talent. But research has shown that people from working class backgrounds – even if they are high educational attainers – are less likely to secure professional jobs because they have less access to the networks and knowledge to navigate the system.

“The Top 50 firms are paving the way by changing their workforce strategies to ensure they get don’t lose out on talented people from less privileged backgrounds. We want the index to herald a step change towards improving social mobility by encouraging many more employers to compete to recruit, and keep, the best and brightest candidates – regardless of background.”

Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chairman for the City of London Corporation, said: ““These firms have shown real ambition in their approach to tackling social mobility. They are leading the way in removing the barriers which are holding back the best and brightest candidates in our society. Statistics show that people from more prosperous backgrounds, who attend private schools and elite universities, often take a disproportionate number of the best jobs.

“But more companies are making progress on social mobility, casting the net wider in the search for talent and recognising that a level playing field is in the best interests for all businesses. The Index is an effective incentive to UK businesses to demonstrate the progress they are making in this vital area.”

FDM Group says that rebuilding returners’ confidence is key to enabling them to re-establish their careers and professional skills and re-enter the workplace. FDM’s work with returners shows that a lack of confidence is one of the biggest issues people need to overcome to resume their career following a break. This is often compounded by the difficulty of getting past the first stage of the recruitment process if the break has been for two years or more.

Sheila Flavell, Chief Operating Officer at FDM Group, explains: “Through our work with returners, we know that rebuilding confidence is very important in helping individuals regain their professional life. Equally as important is the need for business leaders and recruiters to take the time to understand and look beyond gaps on a CV, by doing this businesses will find that they can benefit from the vast experience that returners have to offer.”

To help counter these issues, FDM Group, has introduced its Getting Back to Business careers programme that provides training and employment for returners. The programme, which was recognised in the Government’s Digital Strategy as ‘valuable and innovative work’, includes seven weeks of in-house training, with a focus on building confidence, refreshing skills and studying for professional certifications.

Once trained, returners are employed as FDM Consultants and are placed onsite with FDM’s clients for up to two years. After fulfilling the two-year commitment, individuals can choose to continue as a Senior FDM Consultant, or they may have the opportunity to transfer to a client on a permanent basis, or they may pursue their career elsewhere.

Suzanne Lowe, FDM Business Consultant Placed at Save the Children UK says: “The tech industry is a particularly unforgiving field when it comes to having had an extended break, even more so when you are female and of a certain age. Although I had a vast amount of experience, I was sure that prospective employers would consider me to be irrelevant to the industry. I saw FDM’s programme as a way to help build my confidence, renew and strengthen my skill-sets while providing me with the opportunity to get my career back on track. I had not realised how much my confidence had been crushed prior to returning. The
Programme really helped me to change that and sharing the experience with other returners was inspiring.”

The programme is not just for women as FDM recognised that the same issues apply equally to returners of all genders. Gavin Durbin, an FDM Trainee who took a break to look after his children says: “After my second child was ready to go to nursery, I thought it was the right time to get back to work. However this was difficult with employers judging you on your background coupled with a hit on your confidence. The Getting Back to Business Programme has been great in building my self-confidence and future prospects while re-integrating me to the work environment. Hopefully this can prove that dads can be returners too.”

FDM first trailed the programme in Hong Kong before launching it in its London Academy in late 2016. As the programme goes from strength to strength in London, FDM are launching it in Glasgow in response to interest and demand from businesses in Scotland.

Sheila says: “We’ve had a great response not just from applicants but also from businesses across all sectors who want to benefit from the experience our returners can bring to their teams.”

Karl Hoods, CIO at Save the Children says: “As an organisation we want the best people in our teams and returners bring a wealth of experience to a role. In the case of Suzanne it was immediately apparent that she possessed a wealth of experience in Agile frameworks (XP and Scrum). Her knowledge has been a huge asset to the organisation.”

News UK is another FDM client that has welcomed a returner to their team, Paul Wilson, Programme and Portfolio Director at News UK explains: “FDM’s Getting Back to Business Programme has been really beneficial to News UK and is an excellent way of bringing people and businesses looking for talented and experienced individuals together.“

Sheila concludes: “As an organisation, we believe in recruiting people based on their potential. In the case of returners, we know that by boosting their confidence, refreshing their skills and unlocking their experience, we can bring real benefit to the individuals and the companies with which we place them as FDM Consultants.”

FDM Group, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, will be listed in the FTSE 250.
FTSE Russell, the global index provider, confirmed that FDM will enter the FTSE 250 Index effective from 19 June 2017. The announcement was made by FTSE Russell in accordance with its rules-driven impartial quarterly reviews that ensure the indexes continue to portray an accurate reflection of the market they represent, and form an essential component to the management of the indexes.

FDM Group, a professional services provider with a focus on IT, is the UK’s leading IT graduate employer. It provides graduates, ex-Forces personnel and returners with award-winning business and technical training in core disciplines. The trainees become FDM Consultants and progress to represent FDM on client sites for a minimum of two years. The Group works with over 180 clients worldwide within various sectors, including financial services, media, retail and insurance. FDM has centres across the globe including North America, Europe and the APAC region.

Rod Flavell, Chief Executive Officer, says: “I’m delighted by this development. The company started just over 25 years ago in my attic in East Sussex and with the help of an excellent Executive Board and staff it has grown organically to be the organisation it is today. It is a testament to the hard work of every single employee that we have entered the FTSE 250.”

FDM Group has over 4000 employees globally and is renowned for its commitment to diversity and inclusion which is embedded in its culture and is driven from the top. 26% of its employees and circa 50% of its senior managers are women.

This commitment has also led FDM to be an early adopter of the Government’s Gender Pay Gap reporting. The Group reported an average pay gap of 6% and a median gap of 0% compared to the UK average of 18.1%.

In 2016, FDM expanded its careers programmes with the introduction of its Getting Back to Business programme to help talented people return to employment at an appropriate level following a career gap of a year or more. The programme was recognised in the Government’s Digital Strategy as ‘valuable and innovative work’. It includes seven weeks of in-house training, with a focus on building confidence, refreshing skills and studying for professional certifications.

Rod concludes: “Our commitment to diversity is central to who we are. Introducing our returners programme is part of this commitment. We believe that returners are a valuable source of experience for an organisation; they are an untapped talent pool. By making it easier for women in particular, to re-enter their careers in tech we’re also potentially building a strong pipeline of women who can progress through the management structure and reach board level and help drive diversity further.”

<a href=“http://www.fdmgroup.com/“>www.fdmgroup.com</a>

<a href=“http://www.fdmgroup.com/uk/investors/gender-pay-gap-reporting/“>http://www.fdmgroup.com/uk/investors/gender-pay-gap-reporting/</a>

ENDS
Editor’s Notes:

The FTSE 250 Index is a capitalisation-weighted index consisting of the 101st to the 350th largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. Promotions and demotions to and from this index take place quarterly in March, June, September and December.

The annual Awards, organised by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, are regarded as a benchmark for excellence for organisations or individuals in the procurement and supply chain profession.

FDM recruits, trains and places university graduates and Ex-Forces personnel into Virgin Money, with the option to convert to permanent employment after two years.

Mark Parker, Chief Operating Officer at Virgin Money said: “We are delighted with our recruitment partnership with FDM Group which provides access to a highly skilled talent pool to recruit from. This supports Virgin Money’s ambition to build a better bank that makes everyone better off, as we want to find brilliant people with a passion to deliver excellent customer experiences.”

The partnership began in 2013 when the CIO and Procurement team at Virgin Money began reviewing resourcing solutions to increase recruitment opportunities. After a tender process, FDM Group were appointed to leverage their expertise to source talented university graduates and ex-forces personnel who Virgin Money would then on-board on a temporary basis, with the option to offer permanent roles at the end of a two year period. This collaborative approach has successfully supported Virgin Money’s recruitment needs and has delivered one of the highest conversion to permanent roles across all FDM clients.

Andy Brown, Commercial Director at FDM Group, said: “With a growing skills gap and the changing nature of the IT team, organisations are finding new and creative ways to find talent they require. Our expertise at recruiting and training university graduates, ex-forces and more recently, returners, enables us to provide organisations such as Virgin Money, with a bespoke service that provides them with the kind of skilled people they need to drive their projects and progress.”

FDM Group, a FTSE 250 company, is the UK’s largest IT graduate employer. Through its three careers programmes, the group helps to transition graduates, ex-Forces personnel and returners into professional IT and business consultants, providing them with high-quality training, invaluable commercial experience and lucrative career opportunities across a wide range of sectors.

FDM Group, which has offices in Hong Kong, has partnered with Teach4HK to provide mentors for university graduates. Teach4HK is a non-profit organisation that aims to tackle inequality in education by enlisting outstanding university graduates with diversified talents to serve in schools with underprivileged students through a one-year teaching fellowship.

Fourteen FDM Consultants have been paired with Teach4HK mentees who are serving in underprivileged schools in Hong Kong.

Rod Flavell, Chief Executive Officer for FDM Group, explains: “Working with Teach4HK is an exciting project for our FDM Consultants to be involved with. We’re passionate about inspiring young people from all backgrounds to consider a career in tech.”

Iris Wan, the Programme Director for Teach4HK, explains: “We’re very grateful for FDM’s support for our project. We recognise that STEM is such an important element in education today and therefore, we initiated a funding programme (www.teach4hk-edcubator.com) with the support of tech partners to encourage teachers in designing and executing innovative STEM education projects in underprivileged schools.”

The projects fall into three categories:

$20k funding per project
Tech companies serving as advisors and/or solution partners
University students acting as tech consultants to help execute the projects. Students are paired with teacher-led projects depending on how their individual experience matches the needs of the project.

FDM is providing free mentorship by FDM Consultants for university students. The programme has attracted some outstanding individuals who are passionate about STEM and education innovation. Eight of the selected students have been supporting programme teachers, designing and executing projects at school.

Iris continues: “As part of its support, FDM visited some of our schools to gain a better understanding of the needs of the participating underprivileged students. Although the teachers are doing an amazing job to bring STEM programmes to their pupils – such as electrical cars, robot building, coding and 3D-printing – there is still much room for innovation, and students are always eager to learn more. We are very grateful for FDM’s support in this.”

Chris Yip, FDM Consultant at Standard Chartered Bank, HK, who has volunteered to be a mentor says: “Joining the mentorship programme is not only an opportunity for me to contribute to our community, but it is also an excellent chance for me to learn what students are thinking at this moment in time.”

Jason Lai, FDM Consultant at CLSA, HK, adds: “I hope to learn from a fresh graduate what obstacles they face when entering the work force and how to bridge that gap.”

Andy Chan, FDM Consultant at CLP Power, HK, says: “I joined the mentorship programme because of my passion and desire to help others. Coming from a teaching background and then moving through to the corporate sector, I want to be able to impart my knowledge onto these graduates and hope that they can benefit from it.”

FDM Group, a professional services provider with a focus on IT. With offices across the globe, including Hong Kong, it provides graduates, ex-Forces personnel and returners with award-winning business and technical training in core disciplines. The trainees become FDM Consultants and progress to represent FDM on client sites for a minimum of two years. The Group works with over 180 clients worldwide, helping them achieve specific business objectives within various sectors, including financial services, media, retail and insurance.

FDM Group, which has an Academy in Glasgow, says that rebuilding returners’ confidence is key to enabling them to re-establish their careers and professional skills and re-enter the workplace. FDM’s work with returners shows that a lack of confidence is one of the biggest issues people need to overcome to resume their career following a break. This is often compounded by the difficulty of getting past the first stage of the recruitment process if the break has been for two years or more.

Sheila Flavell, Chief Operating Officer at FDM Group explains: “Through our work with returners, we know that rebuilding confidence is very important in helping individuals regain their professional life. Equally as important is the need for business leaders and recruiters to take the time to understand and look beyond gaps on a CV, whether they are because of childcare, caring for a family member or relocation, by doing this businesses will find that they can benefit from the vast experience that returners have to offer.”

To help counter these issues, FDM Group, has introduced its Getting Back to Business careers programme that provides training and employment for returners. The programme, which was recognised in the Government’s Digital Strategy as ‘valuable and innovative work’, includes seven weeks of in-house training, with a focus on building confidence, refreshing skills and studying for professional certifications.

Once trained, returners are employed as FDM Consultants and are placed onsite with FDM’s clients for up to two years. After fulfilling the two-year commitment, individuals can choose to continue as a Senior FDM Consultant, they may have the opportunity to transfer to a client on a permanent basis, or they may pursue their career elsewhere.

Suzanne Lowe, FDM Business Consultant Placed at Save the Children UK says: “The tech industry is a particularly unforgiving field when it comes to having had an extended break, even more so when you are female and of a certain age. Although I had a vast amount of experience, I was sure that prospective employers would consider me to be irrelevant to the industry. I saw FDM’s programme as a way to help build my confidence, renew and strengthen my skill-sets while providing me with the opportunity to get my career back on track. I had not realised how much my confidence had been crushed prior to returning. The
Programme really helped me to change that and sharing the experience with other returners was inspiring.”

The programme is not just for women as FDM recognised that the same issues apply equally to all returners, male or female. Gavin Durbin, an FDM Trainee who took a break to look after his children says: “After my second child was ready to go to nursery, I thought it was the right time to get back to work. However this was difficult with employers judging you on your background coupled with a hit on your confidence. The Getting Back to Business Programme has been great in building my self-confidence and future prospects while re-integrating me to the work environment. Hopefully this can prove that dads can be returners too.”

FDM first trailed the programme in Hong Kong before launching it in its London Academy in late 2016. To meet interest and demand from businesses in Scotland, the group will launch the programme it in its Glasgow Academy in July.

Sheila says: “We’ve had a great response not just from applicants but also from businesses across all sectors who want to benefit from the experience our returners can bring to their teams.”

Karl Hoods, CIO at Save the Children says: “As an organisation we want the best people in our teams and returners bring a wealth of experience to a role. In the case of Suzanne it was immediately apparent that she possessed a wealth of experience in Agile frameworks (XP and Scrum). Her knowledge has been a huge asset to the organisation.”

News UK is another FDM client that has welcomed a returner to their team, Paul Wilson, Programme and Portfolio Director at News UK explains: “FDM’s Getting Back to Business Programme has been really beneficial to News UK and is an excellent way of bringing people and businesses looking for talented and experienced individuals together.“

Sheila concludes: “As an organisation, we believe in recruiting people based on their potential. In the case of returners, we know that by boosting their confidence, refreshing their skills and unlocking their experience, we can bring real benefit to the individuals and the companies with which we place them as FDM Consultants.”

http://www.fdmgroup.com/uk/careers/fdm-getting-back-business-programme/

FDM Group, a professional services company with a focus on IT and the largest IT graduate employers in the UK, has reported an average gender pay gap of 6% and a median pay gap of 0% compared to the UK average of 18.1%.

The group is an early adopter of gender pay gap reporting introduced by the Government in April this year. Gender pay gap reporting requires employers with 250 or more employees to publish statutory calculations every year showing how large the pay gap is between their male and female employees. Companies have until April 2018 to report their figures. In 2016, a report from McKinsey & Co showed that eliminating work-related gender pay gaps could add £150bn to annual UK GDP by 2025 through enhanced productivity and business reputation.

Sheila Flavell, Chief Operating Officer, comments: “We are a strong supporter of gender pay gap reporting and are pleased to be an early adopter. It is an important first step towards creating greater gender equality.

“At FDM Group we pride ourselves on our commitment to diversity and strive to create equality in all aspects of our workforce. In developing a culture that supports diversity, social mobility and inclusion, we have learned that if you measure and monitor, you can take proactive steps to understand where the issues lie and devise strategies to develop a culture that supports and improves gender parity.”

FDM has created a culture that supports diversity and inclusion and is lead from the top. 26% of its employees and circa 50% of its senior managers are female.

To support this commitment to diversity, and to encourage more women into IT as a career, FDM has developed several initiatives, including:

  • Role models within the business in senior leadership roles
  • Recruitment policies such as unconscious bias training for all recruiters, strength based interview questions etc
  • An established mentoring programme
  • Hosting Women in IT events and sponsorship of the annual Everywoman in Technology Awards
  • Working with other organisations who have the same commitment
  • Challenging the Government to tackle these issues
  • Outreach work with local schools to encourage more girls to consider a career in technology
  • Getting Back to Business careers programme to support returners back into the workplace

FDM launched its Getting Back to Business careers programme last year. It provides training and employment for returners and was recognised in the Government’s Digital Strategy as ‘valuable and innovative work’. It includes seven weeks of in-house training, with a focus on building confidence, refreshing skills and studying for professional certifications.

Once trained, returners are employed as FDM Consultants and are placed onsite with FDM’s clients for up to two years. After fulfilling the two-year commitment, individuals can choose to continue as a Senior FDM Consultant, they may have the opportunity to transfer to a client on a permanent basis, or they may pursue their career elsewhere.

Sheila explains: “We believe that returners are a valuable source of experience for an organisation, they are an untapped talent pool. By making it easier for women in particular, to re-enter their careers in tech we’re also potentially building a strong pipeline of women who can progress through the management structure and reach board level and help drive diversity further.”

http://www.fdmgroup.com/uk/investors/gender-pay-gap-reporting/

Gamification, virtual reality and augmented reality are increasingly being used as part of the graduate assessment and recruitment process says FDM Group. The company, one of the UK’s largest IT graduate employers, is one of the first organisations to introduce game-based tests in its UK assessment centres.

Andy Brown, Operations Director explains: “We are keen to take advantage of advances in virtual, augmented and gamification in our recruitment processes in order to help us identify potential candidates and help us continue to recruit as diversely as possible.

“We also want to give graduates an enjoyable experience when they come along to meet us and provide them with feedback which can help them find the right role for them. Gaming is a natural part of many people’s lives today, so using the technology that our potential employees are already versed in is a great way of helping them to relax and enjoy the experience.”

Working with Arctic Shores, FDM Group has introduced a game based verbal reasoning test which graduates play at their assessment centre. Following the success of this approach, the Group is now looking at expanding the range of game based tests at its assessment centres.

Andy says: “We introduced a game based verbal reasoning test because we found that graduates are not used to communicating in a business environment. This means that they can fall down at this stage when they might actually have the skills we’re looking for. Communication skills are something that we can develop if we know that the individual has the potential, therefore, by using this type of test, we can clearly identify an applicant’s communication skills and help them understand how to do it more effectively in a business environment as we take them forward.”

In addition to game based tests, FDM provides students at careers fairs with virtual reality tours of its London, Leeds and Glasgow academies and centres to give them a feel for the working environment. The VR was designed and built by paid interns during their summer working experience at FDM. FDM has also explored apps such as the Debut graduate app, to attract applicants, has used webinar technology to offer graduate careers advice sessions, and regularly uses ‘Kahoots’ the online quizzing app, to actively engage audiences at events.

Andy adds: “These are quite simple but effective technologies that allow us to more easily target and engage individuals who have the necessary characteristics and interests that we want and need for our roles.”

Robert Newry, Managing Director at Arctic Shores says: “In the last year, there has been a significant growth in the number of companies introducing gamification as part of their graduate recruitment programmes. FDM Group is one of just a few companies who are using the technology at the assessment centre stage and that’s really helping them test their applicants and identify early on in the process who has the potential they need.”

“Using game technology to determine someone’s natural personality traits creates results which can then be matched against the known criteria for the role to help make the best fit. Our game-based assessments are based on scientific psychometric measures and we collect over 3000 data points that provide a detailed picture of a person’s aptitude and capability for a role. Using data in this way helps remove the element of unconscious bias from recruitment; after all, data is blind to bias.”

FDM Group, a company that specialises in creating technology and business consulting careers through its international Academy program, has seen 100% growth in the APAC region over the last two years. The news comes as the Group celebrates the first anniversary of its Hong Kong Academy and the opening of its Singapore Academy. FDM also started operations in Australia earlier this year.

FDM has seen a rise in demand for digital and IT skills in the region; in Hong Kong alone, research* suggests that 69% of businesses are having difficulties finding the talent they need and are therefore adopting alternative sourcing strategies to find people with the right skills.

Rod Flavell, FDM Group CEO says: “The success we’ve experienced since opening our centre in Hong Kong is testament to the digital transformation strategies that many businesses in the region are now implementing. Our customers know the skills they need are in short supply and are turning to us to assist them in dealing with this shortage and enhance their capacity to take advantage of innovative technological advancements. I’m delighted that the FDM Consulting model is able to make a significant difference to the economies in which we operate.”

FDM provides graduates, ex-Forces personnel and returners to work, with award-winning business and technical training in core disciplines. The trainees become FDM Consultants and progress to represent FDM on client sites for a minimum of two years. The Group works with over 180 clients worldwide, helping them achieve specific business objectives within various sectors, including financial services, media, retail and insurance.

Since opening its centres, FDM has started the careers of over 250 people in Hong Kong and works with over 15 blue chip companies in a wide variety of sectors including finance, utility and retail across the region. Java development, application support and project management skills have been the most in demand from FDM Consultants.

Rod concludes: “At the heart of our business remains our desire to launch the careers of people from many different backgrounds, helping them to develop their skills before starting work with our clients. In Hong Kong, 30% of our intake has been female and just over half of the people have joined our programme came from non-scientific or technology backgrounds.
My advice for anyone looking for a career is to consider technology – it underpins every business. It’s not just technology companies who need talented people, digital and tech roles exist across all sectors, from the public sector, financial services to health and social care, to name but a few.”

*Manpower Group Talent Shortage report 2016-2017

Local MPs Stuart Andrew and Alec Shelbrooke visited FDM Group’s Leeds Digital Skills Training Academy yesterday to learn about their work seeking to address the gender and skills gap in the sector. FDM are one of the UK’s largest IT graduate recruiters.

With women hugely under-represented in tech jobs, (they account for just 17% of the workforce), FDM is a leader in tackling the gender gap; 26% of its employees and around 50% of its management team are female.

It also recruits from those with non-tech related degrees demonstrating how the fast growing sector is open to a wide range of graduates who may not otherwise have considered IT as a career choice.

FDM Group opened its Leeds academy just under two years ago and has had over 13,500 applications for its digital skills training course. 649 students have been accepted for training at the Leeds Academy. There are almost 500 FDM Consultants placed with companies across the North, many working with Yorkshire based clients including, Sky Sports, HSBC, Yorkshire Building Society and DWP.

With over 15,000 digital jobs, Leeds is one of the UK’s largest centres for the digital economy outside of London.

FDM provides bespoke training to graduates and ex-forces personnel, equipping them with the technical and professional skills needed by industry before placing them onsite with clients. Headquartered in London, FDM has 16 centres globally and selected Leeds as the base for its second UK academy in recognition of the demand in Yorkshire.

Having met some of its trainees, Stuart Andrew MP commented: “Championing women in IT is a crucial part of tackling the digital skills gap. Many of the girls I’ve met today had no idea about the opportunities that were available to them in the sector. We need to make sure that schools and colleges are exciting students about the range of jobs they could be doing, even without studying IT.”

Alec Shelbrooke MP commented: “Leeds is fast establishing itself as a tech hub in the Northern Powerhouse and I’m pleased to see companies like FDM recognising the importance of retaining talent in the region to support local growth.”

Sheila Flavell, FDM’s Chief Operating Officer added: “The demand that we’ve seen since opening our centre in Leeds is a testament to the role that Yorkshire is playing as part of the UK’s digital development. Now is a really great time to get into technology as a career. It underpins every business, so it’s not just technology companies who need talented people, digital and tech roles exist across all sectors, from the public sector, financial services to health and social care, to name but a few.”

FDM Group, a professional services provider with a focus on IT, which has a centre in Glasgow, says it is seeing a surge in demand for digital and IT skills in the region as more technology companies and start-ups establish themselves across the region.

The Group has started the careers of over 150 people in Scotland in the last 18 months and is working with over 25 businesses across Scotland. In 2016, FDM was recognised as the Best Employer Brand at the S1 Jobs Awards, as per the vote of jobseekers throughout Scotland.

Rod Flavell, CEO says: “The success we’ve experienced since opening our centre in Glasgow is testament to the growth of the digital sector in Scotland which contributes over £4bn GVA to the economy. Scotland needs 11,000 new digital work each year, with our Glasgow centre, our connections to universities and our clients who want digital and business talent, we feel we’re well placed to help meet the demand for digital skills in Scotland.”

In 2016 FDM, which is one of the UK’s IT graduate employer, received over 50,000 applications from graduates and started the careers of 1200 people in the UK through their unique careers programme.

Rod says: “In 2016, we launched the careers of between 60-80 people each week; the equivalent of a small business. It’s a great thing to do and this is such an exciting time for us, we are expanding rapidly but at the heart of our business remains our desire to launch the careers of people from many different backgrounds, helping them to develop their skills before starting work with our clients. At the same time as creating these opportunities for individuals, we also make a significant difference to the economies in which we operate, creating local jobs for local people.”

FDM provides graduates, ex-Forces personnel and returners to work with award-winning business and technical training in core disciplines. The trainees become FDM Consultants and progress to represent FDM on client sites for a minimum of two years. The Group works with over 180 clients worldwide, helping them achieve specific business objectives within various sectors, including financial services, media, retail and insurance.

Rod concludes: “Now is a really great time to get into technology as a career. It underpins every business, so it’s not just technology companies who need talented people, digital and tech roles exist across all sectors, from the public sector, financial services to health and social care, to name but a few.”

Online Returners Hub launched to support returners hoping to re-join the tech sector and support businesses looking for talentOnline Returners Hub launched to support returners hoping to re-join the tech sector and support businesses looking for talent

To celebrate International Women’s Day, techUK has today launched its online Returners Hub, a dedicated resource that will act as a one-stop shop for those returning to work in the tech sector after a long absence. The Hub, which is comprised of four sections aimed at businesses and individuals, addresses the ongoing concerns around the Digital Skills gap by arming those looking to return to work with the tools they need to confidently re-enter this fast-paced market.

Research indicates the UK will need 754,000 additional workers with digital skills to meet rising demand from employers between 2013 and 2017. Tech companies in the UK are urgently seeking top tech talent, and an important untapped talent source is returners.

Estimates suggest almost two million women in the UK are currently economically inactive due to caring commitments, and 76% of professional women on career breaks want to return to work. Many may also be struggling to gain the confidence they need to return to work in the tech industry, feeling that a lot would have changed since they were last in employment.

Resources are scarce for this important segment of the job market and are often scattered across various different websites. The techUK Returners Hub, however, provides a central hub of information for tech returners which features four sections:

  1. Tech companies currently running returners programmes;
  2. Tech companies who do not run specific returners programmes, but are open to receiving applications from people who have had a career break;
  3. Resources for returners, including free courses, training materials, books, and mentorship programmes;
  4. Training organisations that can assist tech companies with the diversity agenda and creating a returners programme.

To celebrate the launch of the Returners Hub, Jacqueline de Rojas, techUK President, comments: “It is essential that the UK reinvents itself as a digital nation of significance. To do this, we desperately need greater, and more diverse talent. There is an urgent need to build tech skills and equip our workforce for the digital age – and techUK’s Returners Hub has a key role to play in giving returners the tools they need to re-enter the tech sector. This hub will be a great centralised resource for women, and men, who are looking to get back into their careers in tech or reskill into a new technical role. By shining a light on returners, we can attract, retain, and progress more top female tech talent, and continue to move the dial on the issue of diversity in tech.”

Explaining how important it is to source tech talent, Julian David, techUK CEO said: “techUK is committed to increasing diversity in the tech sector, and this is one of our flagship projects this year. To date, returners have often been an overlooked and under-valued talent pool. I am proud to have worked with our committed members to create this comprehensive Returners Hub that showcases exemplar programmes, provides support to businesses looking to attract returners, and to empower them to thrive in the tech sector.”

Sheila Flavell, Chief Operating Officer of FDM Group which runs the Getting Back to Business Programme adds: “We’re delighted to support the launch of techUK’s Returners’ Hub. Since we launched our Getting Back to Business programme we have received over 2,000 applications from high calibre individuals who are eager to return to work and re-start their careers; there is clearly a demand for programmes like ours. It’s vitally important for UK businesses to recognise the value of introducing returners into their teams if the UK is going to remain competitive and fulfil our increasing digital skills requirements.”

ENDS

About techUK

techUK represents the companies and technologies that are defining today the world that we will live in tomorrow. Over 900 companies are members of techUK, collectively they employ more than 700,000 people. These companies range from leading FTSE 100 companies to new innovative start-ups. The majority of our members are small and medium sized businesses.

FDM Group, a professional services provider with a focus on IT, which is celebrating the first anniversary of its Hong Kong Academy, says it is seeing a surge in demand for digital and IT skills in the region. In Hong Kong, research* suggests that 69% of businesses are having difficulties finding the talent they need and are therefore adopting alternative sourcing strategies to find people with the right skills.

FDM provides graduates, ex-Forces personnel and returners to work, with award-winning business and technical training in core disciplines. The trainees become FDM Consultants and progress to represent FDM on client sites for a minimum of two years. The Group works with over 180 clients worldwide, helping them achieve specific business objectives within various sectors, including financial services, media, retail and insurance.

Rod Flavell, FDM Group CEO says: “The success we’ve experienced since opening our centre in Hong Kong is testament to the digital transformation strategies that many businesses in the region are now implementing. They know the skills they need and are turning to us to help them expand their workforce in a flexible way through our Consultants who make a difference from day one of their employment. I’m delighted that we are able to make a significant difference to the economies in which we operate, creating local jobs for local people.”

Since opening its offices, FDM has started the careers of over 250 people in Hong Kong and works with over 15 blue chip companies in a wide variety of sectors including finance, utility and retail across the region. Java development, application support and project management skills have been the most in demand from FDM Consultants.

Rod concludes: “At the heart of our business remains our desire to launch the careers of people from many different backgrounds, helping them to develop their skills before starting work with our clients. In Hong Kong, 30% of our intake has been female and just over half of the people have joined our programme came from non-scientific or technology backgrounds.
My advice for anyone looking for a career is to consider technology – it underpins every business. It’s not just technology companies who need talented people, digital and tech roles exist across all sectors, from the public sector, financial services to health and social care, to name but a few.”

*Manpower Group Talent Shortage report 2016-2017

FDM Group, a global professional services company with a focus on IT, has launched its operations in Australia, working with clients in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. FDM provides university graduates from across the country with the opportunity to kick-start their careers in IT through the award winning FDM Graduate Programme. Once trained, graduates become FDM Consultants working on client sites, providing businesses with the skills they need.

Rod Flavell, Chief Executive Officer at FDM Group explains: “This is such an exciting time for us and our work in Australia complements our growth in the Asia Pacific region. Through our research and connections with clients, we know there is a real demand for good people with IT skills in the region.

“At the heart of our business remains our desire to launch the careers of people from many different backgrounds, helping them to develop their skills before starting work with our clients. At the same time as creating these opportunities for individuals, we also make a significant difference to the economies in which we operate, creating local jobs for local people, helping employers build their IT and project teams with qualified people while giving them the flexibility to quickly scale their teams to meet their requirements.”

An Australian Computer Society report shows that digital technologies is one of the fastest growing parts of Australia’s economy, with a 5% growth in the number of ICT professionals, and demand for a further 100,000 workers over the next six years

The FDM graduate programme provides business and technical training in core disciplines. All graduates complete foundation training in professional skills, SQL, Excel VBA and UNIX in their first 4 weeks. They then follow an individual learning pathway which is either business or technically focused, and includes Murex, Java and App support which are in demand in the region.

Graduates who complete the training become FDM consultants and are placed on client sites for a minimum of two years. After fulfilling the two-year commitment representing FDM on client sites, consultants can then choose to continue as a senior FDM consultant or transfer to a client on a permanent basis.

Rod adds: “The graduates who join us as consultants gain instrumental industry experience and are given the opportunity to work on exciting and current projects such as digitalization of investment banking.

“We work with over 180 clients worldwide helping them to achieve specific business objectives within various sectors, including financial services, media, retail and insurance. Locally, we’re seeing interest from local and international financial institutions for our consultants.”

FDM Group employs over 4,000 people globally with centres in the UK, Europe, North America, South Africa, and across Asia, including Hong Kong, Singapore and China.

FDM Group employee, Lawrence Hill, who is an IT trainer at the company’s Leeds Academy, has been awarded the prestigious Volunteer Reserves Service Medal.

Lawrence was presented with the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal earlier this month having completed 10 years of Service with the Armed Forces Reserves, taking his total military service to 32 Years.

Lawrence joined the Royal Corps of Signals in July 1985 and completed 22 years full-time service until he retired in July 2007. He immediately joined the Armed Forces Reserves to continue his service with the Royal Corps of Signals. During this time Lawrence has been involved in a number of strategic operations world-wide where his Reserve unit has been tasked with providing specialist communications support.

Lawrence says: ‘Working with FDM Group here in Leeds has allowed me to continue with my Armed Forces employment without malice or prejudice. FDM actively encourage and support my employment, and sees the benefits that this employment brings to the company. FDM is a firm advocate of the Armed Forces Covenant and applies all the conditions to assist its employees with their part-time roles and activities in the Armed Forces Reserves’.

Rod Flavell, FDM Group CEO says: “We congratulate Lawrence on this major achievement which demonstrates Lawrence’s continued commitment to the Armed Forces. Since joining FDM following his career in the Royal Corps of Signals, Lawrence has been an invaluable employee. His military experience means that he is extremely well placed to help train those who join our Ex-Forces Programme to start their new careers in a commercial setting.”

FDM Group is a professional services provider with a focus on IT. It provides dynamic Careers Programme, which provides graduates, ex-Forces personnel and returners to work, with award-winning business and technical training in core disciplines. They then progress to represent FDM Group on client sites as our Consultants for a minimum of two years. FDM works with over 180 clients worldwide within various sectors, including financial services, media, retail and insurance.

FDM Group, a professional services company with a focus on IT and the UK’s largest IT graduate employer, has briefed MPs on how non-technical students, in particular females, can be encouraged into digital roles to help fill the growing IT skills and gender gaps. 52% of employers are struggling to fill digital job vacancies and over a million new recruits are needed in the tech specialist workforce by 2023. Women make up just 17% of the IT profession.

The briefing took place at a meeting hosted by Chi Onwurah MP and was based on insight gained from interviews FDM carried out among 400 of its female Consultants with a view to gaining their thoughts on ways of attracting more individuals into digital careers and breaking the stereotypes around a career in technology.

The research, which was supported by Cisco, demonstrated that given the diversity of digital roles today, a technology related degree is not necessarily required to gain employment. This is contrary to what many students may think.

FDM’s Chief Operating Officer Sheila Flavell, named by Computer Weekly as one of the Top 15 most influential women in IT, says: “There is no doubt that it’s important to encourage more girls to study STEM subjects however, we also believe that there are real opportunities to encourage girls to consider a career in IT whatever they are studying.”

On FDM’s graduate programme, the business analyst and project management streams in particular attract many non-STEM graduates including those with degrees in classics, law, geography and politics to name a few.

Sheila continues: “Our experience shows that many of the skills developed by graduates on non-STEM degrees can be transferred into digital roles. This opens up the industry to many more women given that, proportionately, not many take IT related courses*.

“Getting this message across to students who may be unsure if they can get into IT without a computer science degree could unlock a hidden talent pool that ultimately may help us meet the growing demand for digital skills.”

If the IT sector wants to take advantage of the transferable skills of non-STEM graduates, it needs to increase visibility of roles available and overcome the negative perceptions of the industry that are stopping talented individuals from entering the sector.

FDM’s research showed that prior to working in technology respondents said they perceived it as ‘techy, introverted, a back office function, a closed shop with a glass ceiling’. These perceptions changed to ‘exciting, creative, innovative and growth’ after they had joined FDM and started their careers.

Sheila concludes: “As an industry, we need to change the idea that IT is an inaccessible field. We need girls to be able to see what digital is all about in order to opt to go into it. They need to see the relevance and excitement of it. We need to provide role models and work with schools and universities to drive better understanding of potential IT careers.”

FDM is committed to driving gender diversity in the workplace; 50% of the management team and 26% of all employees at FDM are female. It signed the United Nations CEO Statement of Support and joined the Think, Act, Report (T.A.R) initiative; a government campaign to drive greater transparency on gender employment issues. Through its Women in IT initiative it provides a support network to help and mentor its female employees.

*only 27% of students taking IT related A-levels in 2014 were female
ENDS

Editor’s Notes:

Meeting was hosted by Chi Onwurah MP (Lab, Newcastle upon Tyne), Co-Chair Parliamentary Internet Communications Forum (PICTFOR)

MPs attending included: Stephen Metcalfe MP (Con, South Basildon and East Thurrock), Chair of science and technology select committee, Derek Thomas MP (Con, St Ives), member of above committee, Mims Davies MP (Con, Eastleigh), Parliamentary private secretary (PPS) to Digital Minister Matt Hancock, Chair of Women in Parliament Group, member of women and equalities select committee, Barry Sheerman MP (Lab, Huddersfield) co-chair of the skills commission and Lucy Stedman, digital skills policy adviser at DCMS.

With top tips on how to get the x-factor when applying for roles, virtual reality and game playing, FDM Group helped young people and their teachers find out more about potential careers in IT at the recent TeenTech event at the Emirates Stadium.

Sheila Flavell, FDM Group Chief Operating Officer, says: “I’m delighted that FDM Group is supporting TeenTech and helping to make young people aware of the opportunities open to them if they opt for a career in technology. Young people are prolific consumers of technology but they don’t realise that by following a career in IT they could be the creators of our future digital world.

“It’s vital that we switch our next generations on to working in and with technology if we are to continue to be a successful innovative nation. Technology is at the centre of all businesses, no matter which sector.”

The European Commission has estimated a predicted shortfall of 900,000 adequately skilled programmers and other technology professionals in Europe by 2020.

TeenTech is an award winning, industry-led initiative, founded in 2008 by Maggie Philbin OBE and Chris Dodson to help the “X Factor” generation understand their true potential and the real opportunities available in the contemporary science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workplace. As well as running events that take place at venues across the UK, where up to 500 pupils benefit from hands-on exhibits and challenges run by leading organisations, TeenTech also runs a supporting awards programme to promote and encourage innovation among school children.

FDM Group is sponsoring the Digital Skills category of the TeenTech Awards which are now open for entry.

Sheila adds: “The work that TeenTech does is really important in generating innovation and excitement among students and helping them, their parents and teachers understand the options of careers involving technology. We believe this is vital: our collaboration with TeenTech complements our work with a number of schools, helping students understand what’s involved in work, helping them prepare themselves for that next step, and giving them the confidence to think beyond their sometimes limited horizons as to what might be open to them, if they apply themselves and their abilities.”

FDM Group’s top tips for having the x-factor when applying for roles include:
Get involved! It’s always about the work experience you have. By joining clubs/societies or sports team your able to gain a lot of skills that are transferable to the work place, such as work ethic, leadership, flexibility to name just a few.
When applying to employers make sure you take the time to tailor your CV to the role you’re applying for. Look at the job description and make sure you highlight the key responsibilities they are looking for in your CV. The only way you will find that information is by researching the employer.
Start reading and learning about the trends that are going on in the industry that you want to get into now. The more knowledge you gain in the industry early on helps you develop and get on the right career path in the future.

Maggie Philbin OBE, co-founder of TeenTech adds: “I’m very pleased to have FDM Group involved with our 2017 Teen Tech Awards. FDM prides itself on supporting and developing young talent and potential in IT, so they are well placed to help us inspire these young people who are so important to the future of our industries.”

The TeenTech Awards are for UK students from 11-16 (Years 7 to 11) and 17-18 (Years 12 to 13) working in teams of up to three to look at problems large and small to see if they can find a better way of doing things. There will be a prize of £1000 to the winning school in each category and the overall winners will be presented with their awards by HRH Duke of York KG at Buckingham Palace. Closing date for entry is 31 March 2017.