Nine students from Bradford Girls’ Grammar School spent a week here at our headquarters in Leeds last month as part of our educational initiative to help young people gain employability skills for their future careers, and to highlight, to girls in particular, the opportunities that exist in the world of data science and technology.
Meda, aged 15, described her #GirlsIntoTech experience as a week filled with “information and inspiration” whilst 14-year-old Muzna said: “It has shown me so many other career paths I would never have considered.”
Amelia-Romana is now thinking about a career a technology, having realised the variety that exists within it during what she described as “an intense, busy but enjoyable week.” Her classmate Malaika also found it an eye-opener in terms of the sheer extent of what technology “entails and controls.”
Sarah Shaw, our corporate responsibility consultant explains: “The girls had a busy programme and took part in structured development workshops, as well as work shadowing. Many of our teams gave presentations to the students, on topics ranging from product development to our consumer brand – Noddle, to help them get a good understanding of how our business operates. Each student was supported by a dedicated mentor and they all took part in a team project which they presented at the end of the week, utilising some of their new skills.
“It was really impressive to see the difference just one week made – in their skills and their confidence – and we’re thrilled to have played our part in that, so that they can take what they’ve learned and apply it in their future careers, whatever paths they choose.”
In a short poll carried out with the students at the end of the week, two thirds of them stated that fraud and cybercrime will be the biggest challenge businesses will face in ten years’ time. Their prediction is in line with the findings of our own recent research into fraud and highlights the increasingly important role technology is likely to play in the workplace, not only to deliver innovative products and services, but also in the fight against fraudsters.
The difficulty of matching people skills to advanced technology came in second, reinforcing the importance of education in preparing a future work force that has the skills needed to support and enhance ever-advancing technological solutions.