DCMS blog

London Tech Week 2019: Developing digital skills and talent at the GoFurther Academy

Jackson Hull

by

Jackson Hull

COO/ CTO

Technology can be a powerful enabler, but it is our people that translate that into meaningful experiences for our customers.

That’s why we have invested heavily in our people and improved everything from the recruitment and induction process, to the ongoing development of individuals and teams, to taking a long-term view of the skills and capabilities our business will need most.

Go Further Academy

Launched in May 2018, the GoFurther Academy is an initiative that bridges the gap between education and the workplace. It enables our current workforce and prospective students to accelerate their career progression and enhance their skill set.

Our academy has five objectives:

  • Establish a link and relationship between educational establishments and GoCompare
  • Create a more robust and sustainable talent pipeline
  • Further diversity our workforce through additional channels
  • Upskill existing staff, the local community, and identify and nurture home-grown talent
  • Further increase awareness of employer brand and employer value proposition.

A strong start

Since launching the academy we’ve been able to offer our staff more opportunities for development; expanding their range, knowledge and competencies.

What’s more, we’ve been able to utilise our relationships with education establishments. We launched a sponsored degree programme with Aston University. Our first intake saw five fantastic students enrolled on a BSc Honours Degree in Digital and Technology Solutions, kick-starting their engineering careers with GoCompare.

Bridging a gap

We’ve invested in the Welsh Data Science Graduate Programme which is run by the Welsh Contact Centre Forum (WCCF) in partnership with the University of South Wales. The programme is part funded by the European Social Fund and sees recent graduates studying MSc in Data Science, doing three rotational work placements across different businesses. We know that it can be difficult to jump from education to work, so we’re bridging that gap.

Another thriving educational partnership we’ve built is with Cardiff and Vale College. Delivering programmes having a positive impact on the business, including the UK’s first applied neuroscience and neuromarketing programme; an innovative approach to training and a bespoke course for GoCompare’s marketing team.

Going further

So how does all of this benefit us? The GoFurther Academy brings us new bright sparks with innovative and creative ideas. Simply put, there are not enough candidates for the future needs of our growing business. The GoFurther Academy enables us to address the skill shortage in technology and builds a consistent talent pipeline. By working alongside government schemes and local education establishments we aim to turn Wales into a global centre of technological excellence.