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The Latest in Skills & Talent Across Southeast Wales

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March brought many highlights, with FinTech Wales achieving 81% success rate in their Coding and Data Academies, USW and de Novo Solutions launching a novel Digital Technology Degree Apprenticeship Scheme, Wales’ Women in STEM hosting their inaugural conference, and Chwarae Teg securing the first Menopause Accreditation in Wales. More worryingly, the City & Guilds ‘Youth Misspent’ report detailed the disengagement of many young people with the world of work…

FinTech Wales celebrates 81% success rate in Coding and Data Academies

FinTech Wales, in partnership with training provider iungo Solutions, has recorded an 81% success rate from people who attended their ten-week Coding or Data Academies – with 62% of those who successfully completed the course securing roles in FinTech or Technology, and 19% going on to undertake further training.

The programmes are designed around the skills and talent requirements of FinTech employers – delivering work-ready skilling to people who are unemployed, under-employed or looking to retrain.

The first Coding Academy pilot was launched with Cardiff and Vale College just twelve months ago, and the programme has since delivered further Data Academies at Fintech Wales’ office in Cardiff and Coleg y Cymoedd in Nantgarw, fuelling plans to deliver more academies with CAVC, Bridgend College and other FE institutions across Wales.

Making strides in attracting a diverse range of talent into the industry, the latest programmes have recorded that 41% of learners have Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds – with age groups ranging from 18 to 62 years old.

In addition, learners with lower socioeconomic status (CDE) made up 47% of the cohort – and while the gender split was predominantly male (76%), the programme is working on a number of initiatives to encourage more women to apply for future academies.

By September 2023, FinTech Wales expects to be working with at least six colleges, offering eight courses that develop skills such as digital growth and full-stack software engineering.

USW & de Novo Solutions launch Digital Technology Degree Apprenticeship Scheme

The University of South Wales has partnered with a pioneering tech company headquartered in Langstone, to deliver an innovative Degree Apprenticeship Scheme for young people across CCR and beyond.

Launched in 2021, de Novo Solutions is a specialist SME digital technology consultancy focused on ‘re-imagining the world of work’ through data driven personalised experiences, rather than standardised business processes.

This novel partnership is fully funded by the Welsh Government, offering young people the opportunity to ‘learn while they earn’ through an exciting apprenticeship scheme which will provide a comprehensive introduction to technology consulting – ranging from insights into the latest technologies (such as Oracle, SaaS, Cloud and ServiceNow) that vare driving ‘the experience economy’, through to understanding analytics and back-office enterprise business systems.

Alongside their work experience with the de Novo Solutions team, apprentices will also be able to secure a BSc (Hons) degree in Digital and Technology Solutions, gaining the expertise and knowledge to develop a successful career in many different fields. .

Wales’ Women in STEM connect to make voices heard

March saw the ‘Wales Women in STEM – Making Your Voice Heard’ event held at the BBC Wales HQ in Cardiff  – celebrating and connecting women working in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Opened by Jane Hutt MS, the event included inspirational talks from key speakers such as Marina Lois, Co-Founder of Bengo Media, Rituja Rao of Deliveroo, Sam Toombs of BT, Dr Emma Yhnell of Cardiff University and Yamni Nigam of Swansea University – exploring the importance of authentic and compassionate leadership, the challenges of being in the minority, and the value of allyship.

Organised by the Wales Women in Stem network – led by Dr Louise Bright, Executive Director of Engagement & Enterprise at the University of South Wales – the conference is part of a programme of activity focused on providing support and networking opportunities to enhance female participation in STEM at all career stages, from school learners to industry professionals and research leaders.

The group is open to everyone in Wales working in STEM, holding regular networking meetings throughout the year. To find out more, visit

Chwarae Teg launches first Menopause Accreditation in Wales

Gender equality charity Chwarae Teg has become the first organisation in Wales to be awarded The Menopause Friendly Accreditation, for its commitment to providing menopause support to its employees – acknowledging the wide-ranging resources, support and knowledge-sharing that Chwarae Teg provides to people within its organisation.

The charity has rolled out a number of active measures, including monthly lunchtime ‘online menopause cafes’ to increase awareness and share information – as well as created a dedicated area on its intranet for news, information and sharing personal experiences, together with a Teams channel where employees are encouraged to offer tips and ask questions.

The CCR-based enterprise has also welcomed employees volunteering to undertake training as Menopause Champions, ensuring that those people who experience menopause symptoms feel able to discuss them in a supportive environment.

Chwarae Teg also provides training for line managers, empowering them to provide best guidance for employees – and the whole initiative is backed by ‘Menopause: A Support Guide for Everyone’, which provides an informed resource of information about the menopause, including details on symptoms, how to ask for support, and reasonable adjustments that can be made in the workplace – all shared as part of the HR induction for new employees.

City & Guilds research suggests millions of young people won’t meet their potential

New research from City & Guilds, the global skills development organisation, has found that almost a quarter of a million of UK youth feel completely turned off from working.

The Youth Misspent report, based on a survey of 5.000 18-24 year-olds, indicates that many young people feel totally excluded from the labour market, with nearly one in ten (9%) – that’s 227,000 people – saying they never intend to start working.

Worryingly, young people seem to be rapidly losing hope as they face what they see as a hostile labour market with limited opportunities to get a foot on the ladder and progress.

Almost a third (30%) of young people stated they don’t think they’ll ever be able to achieve their career ambitions – and this is highest amongst those who are currently not working (35%), those who have been in the prison system (59%), been a refugee (54%) or been through the care system (44%).

Those who are keen to work face real barriers to getting jobs. More than two in five (43%) do not believe that their education has equipped them with the skills they need to get the job they want – with two thirds (64%) of young people saying that it’s not easy to get a ‘good job’, nearly a third (29%) saying they have struggled to get interviews; and one in five (19%) saying there simply aren’t the jobs available in their local area.

To keep abreast of the latest developments in Skills & Talent across South East Wales, go to


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