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NatWest supports tech training for displaced Ukrainian women

NatWest bank joins scheme to give tech training to displaced Ukrainian women in Scotland

NatWest bank has teamed up with tech training organisations to pilot a programme aimed at providing technology training to displaced Ukrainian women in Scotland, with some of the women being trained having the opportunity to work at NatWest Group’s Royal Bank of Scotland business.

The bank has partnered with Capital City Partnership, which promotes job growth in Edinburgh, and training organisation Code First Girls on the programme aimed at giving the displaced women opportunities in coding and software engineering. 

NatWest is sponsoring 60 women to complete introductory classes in technology. Some 10 women will complete the Code First Girls Degree and, if they complete the training and pass, they will then be offered a permanent role at the bank as trainee software engineers.

Wincie Wong, head of workforce technical capability Digital X at NatWest, said the initiative is part of the bank’s commitment to supporting Ukrainian families: “[We] recognise the capability and talent of these women, who have been through so much.”

Wong said many of the women are highly skilled engineers, lecturers and mathematicians who have had to do lower paid jobs, if they find one at all, after they arrive in the UK.

“We also know that women are only filling 23% of all the digital technology roles in Scotland so there is a need to increase the gender balance of this sector. It made perfect sense for us to be able to provide greater opportunities for this population to find gainful employment in one of our most important areas of the bank,” added Wong.

Anna Brailsford, CEO of Code First Girls, said empowering women in technology “can help to build a more diverse and inclusive industry that is better equipped to meet the demands of today and innovate for the future”.

Ukraine is a hotbed of IT talent and entrepreneurship. Its IT industry has remained resilient during the Russian invasion of the country and continues to grow.

According to a report from the IT Ukraine Association, IT export value for the time from Russia invading in February last year until the end December was $6bn, 10% more than the same period in 2001.

Nearly 290,000 people in Ukraine are employed in the IT sector and IT exports are worth 3.5% of Ukraine’s GDP and 37.8% of total services exports in 2021. Many displaced IT professionals are now plying their trade in different European countries.

Read more about Ukrainian IT sector’s response to Russian invasion

Read more on IT education and training

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