Skip to Content

Reaching 50 CodeYourFuture graduate hires at Capgemini UK

Sally Caughey
1 Apr 2022

After more than three years, our partnership with CodeYourFuture (CYF) recently achieved an exciting milestone when the 50th CYF graduate joined us on a permanent basis.

It’s hard to believe that we’ve reached our 50th hire. I began working with this innovative, non-profit charity in 2018, aiming to create a programme that would help CodeYourFuture (CYF) fulfil its ambition to support refugees and disadvantaged individuals in becoming software engineers with free, volunteer-led courses.

Committing to hire at the heart of our programme

We became their first corporate partner to offer end-to-end support through the sponsorship of the CYF training programme. As well as funding a course, this saw us providing mentors and business coaches and, crucially, committing to offer employment to programme graduates. Today, we remain CYF’s biggest corporate sponsor.

Our partnership has naturally evolved. As well as working to ensure employment success for the students, we have now created a completely scalable, replicable approach that’s suitable for other organisations to roll out. And we are already sharing our approach – through a blueprint that encompasses volunteers, giving access and exposure to real work experiences and networks, enabling students to develop the soft skills needed to succeed and, of course, by committing to hire.

What employment means

I am so proud of our students and their achievements. Madiha Khan, who joined us from the first cohort, was a finalist last year in 2021 Women in Tech Excellence in the Outstanding Returner Award category. But more than their successes as employees, I have been struck by what our sponsorship has meant for those who’ve completed their training and are now employed by our business.

For example, after his military career came to a sudden end, Tayfun Aydogan tells us that he struggled to find a way forward until he realised the answer lay in acquiring digital skills. His experience is something I want to share. Here’s what he told us: “Throughout the programme, I felt included, not only upskilling myself at Capgemini workshops and study clubs, but also collaborating on challenges with colleagues. Working with other Capgemini professionals at Hackathon-2020 nailed my decision to join the company. Sharing the same values, transforming the future, I am sure that Capgemini is the right place for me. I am delighted to be a part of this collaborative workforce where we reshape the digitalised future.”

Capturing the imagination of our volunteers

What can I say about the more than 500 volunteers from our business who helped make this possible? They are amazing! The partnership with CYF has enabled them to have meaningful social impact by volunteering to help more people benefit from the digital revolution. Building mentoring relationships with students and running training opportunities such as hackathons are popular as they can make a real difference in boosting the confidence of programme participants, which is essential for employment. Our volunteers have helped build a community of software engineers that’s ready to help all its members excel.

Scaling to support more people

We started with a pilot project and over time, we have scaled the number of students and reach, doubling our courses (Digital Academies) year-on-year and expanding to new locations. In 2019, we ran one class of 25 students. In 2020, we ran two classes for 50 students. In 2021, we ran four courses for 128 students. We now deliver our CYF Digital Academies in London, Birmingham and Manchester, and we also assist CYF classes in Glasgow with job opportunities and support from volunteers.

The journey continues

What next for our partnership with CodeYourFuture? Well, it continues to evolve and last year we announced a new three-year partnership contract. Through this, we expect to support at least 300 individuals over the next three years as they develop both their digital skills and the soft skills required to succeed at work.

It’s clear from this, that our partnership with CYF is going from strength to strength. We are able to give the charity a view on market demand based on what our clients are requesting. This enables CYF to adapt and evolve the curriculum, and to better prepare students for what the market wants. In turn, as we extend participation in the CYF Digital Academies, we are creating access to new and more diverse sources of talent to support our recruitment strategy at a time when the widening tech skills gaps is a challenge for all organisations.

Of course, in the end, this is all about the students. Which is why I am delighted that, through this partnership, all our CYF graduates are now employable as software engineers. The list of organisations employing CYF graduates, shared on CYF’s own website, is testament to its success. It’s been wonderful to watch these graduates continue to grow in confidence as they build their experience and seize the opportunity to fast track their careers into the tech industry. I look forward to seeing the next steps on their career journeys!