Sheffield tycoon launches drive to boost tech skills and jobs across North
A Sheffield tech tycoon is launching a drive to create software developers, generate jobs and invest in start-ups across the North of England.
David Richards, founder of software firm WANdisco, is behind ‘EyUp’ which will run a 16-week coding bootcamp, help graduates from the course find jobs and offer cash and mentoring to new firms.
The project aims to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds, or who are under-represented in the tech sector, and launch partnerships with charities.
Applicants are assessed on potential rather than experience and fees can be paid with an interest-free deferred payment.
David Richards said: “Local and global economies are crying out for people with the right skills – latest annual figures show more than 150,000 digital tech job openings in Yorkshire and 4,400 in Sheffield
“EyUp will teach people to code, help them find jobs as developers, nurture new start-ups and contribute to social and economic wellbeing.
“Education should be the foundation of regeneration and EyUp will help individuals realise their potential and spread success across our communities.
“We want to provide a meaningful alternative to university by offering more hands-on experience in four months than students would typically get in a three-year degree programme.
“As a Yorkshireman who has spent more than two decades living and working in Silicon Valley, I am very proud of my roots and want to celebrate our Yorkshire identity with EyUp.”
Launching in September, EyUp Skills will deliver a course in partnership with iO Academy, through home and classroom-based learning at Castle House, the Sheffield offices of WANdisco plc.
James Muir, chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Investment in the skills and careers of our people is at the forefront of South Yorkshire’s renewal and growth in the coming years, so I’m incredibly pleased to see the launch of EyUp in Sheffield.
“To ensure our region has the opportunities needed to build a stronger, greener and fairer economy for everyone, we need to invest in our people and businesses, and improving digital skills is integral to this.
“The guidance and expertise EyUp will offer to graduates and businesses is very welcomed and it’s great to see the team’s enthusiasm and commitment to South Yorkshire.”