In February 2020 we kicked off Cohort 5 of Your Journey Into Tech and it’s fair to say in the weeks which have followed almost everything in the world has changed - but not our commitment to delivering a first class learning experience for our returners. Cohort 5 were part way through their programme when the government advice to ‘ Stay Home Save Lives’ was issued and along with thousands of other businesses we began to switch up the way we do things around here!
Here’s how we’ve done it
Our returners are always expected to do a lot of learning on their own time and so we’ve always supported their learning remotely but as of March 2020 our entire curriculum moved to an online model. For our February cohort this meant bringing their previous classroom based lectures into an online setting and for Cohort 6 who started their journey on March 23rd, their entire experience to date has been remote, we’ve utilised Zoom and its’ webinar functionality and Google Classroom to make this possible alongside our existing community and support channels via Slack.
Everyone who is part of a Your Journey Into Tech cohort is automatically part of our Tech Returners community but we’ve extended this offering in recent weeks with our Coffee and Quarantine sessions where individuals can book a session with one of our Tech Coaches to discuss their learning or homework, get some advice and simply connect socially. We’ve also set up our mentoring scheme bringing together past returners with current ones to enhance their experience and provide welcome input and support.
Our sponsor businesses have also had to make some changes, as part of their ongoing engagement with our returners they’d usually be delivering lightning talks, getting to know the cohort, showing them around their office and more. And guess what, they still are! We’re pleased to be working with AutoTrader and Infinity Works for our February cohort who have wholly embraced our new working model and have continued to deliver talks and examples of organisational culture remotely, they’ve even shown us around their offices using tech like Google Maps and StreetView!
We also completed the second #StepIntoTech programme exclusively for the BBC in March 2020, with an entirely remote and virtual final project presentation evening and launched our Virtual Events programme, taking physical events into the online space with everything from Virtual Pub Quizzes, Lunch and Learn sessions and online meet-ups.
Our February and March cohorts continue apace and we’re looking to connect with more like-minded businesses keen to invest in returner talent.
We know the landscape may look a little uncertain at the moment but if you’re forward planning and focusing on your recruitment strategy then why not talk to us about the tech talent coming through our ranks in May and June of this year.