At least 100 jobs will be available to young people hoping to pursue a career in IT during a Digital Careers Fair in Durham this week.
Tech firm RAW Digital Training has teamed up with DurhamWorks, a County Durham Youth Employment Initiative funded by the European Social Fund, to host the event in the Rivergreen Centre at Aykley Heads – home to the UK’s only digital bank, Atom – on Friday.
Twenty exhibitors at the Careers Fair will include Tombola, Sunderland and Teesside universities and Media Works as well as all of the region’s major tech apprenticeship providers.
And organisers say at least 100 new roles will be available on the day, for young people serious about a digital career.
Joanna Wake, managing director of Stockton-based RAW Digital, said: “All young people looking for digital tech or IT career opportunities – whether that’s through apprenticeships, education or entry-level jobs – are welcome to come along and find out more.
“We’ll have direct employers like Tombola and Media Works there as well as all the major tech apprenticeship providers exhibiting, with at least 100 jobs available straight away.
“There’ll be a lot of information available as well as a wide variety of speakers over the course of the day, but visitors can just call in to pick up our information packs at any point of the day.
“It’s important that young people learn that these types of businesses exist on our doorstep and these opportunities are available.”
DurhamWorks, a partnership project led by Durham County Council and part funded by the European Social Fund and Youth Employment Initiative, has now supported more than 4,000 people between the ages of 16 to 24 to become ‘work ready’.
The programme works with a range of partners to help unemployed young people develop their existing skills, identify new ones and help them into a range of training, job and education opportunities.
David Hudson, from DurhamWorks, said: “We’ve helped more than 4,000 young people to become job ready and the digital/IT sector is vitally important, especially for the North-East.
“There’s a growing number of businesses from such a wide variety of sectors who are looking for IT and tech-savvy young people now, to help them grow their online presence.
“It’s a massive growth industry in our region so it’s vital we have the skills sets, and that companies know we have so many work-ready young people, as well as raising awareness of the jobs and opportunities that are out there.”
RAW Digital Training has been working closely with DurhamWorks to create a new Digital Talent Service, taking unemployed 16-24-year-olds from County Durham and giving them work-ready IT skills.
More than 100 learners have already accessed expert training from industry leaders in the fields of games development, cyber security, website creation, digital marketing and search engine optimisation as part of the programme.
Now many of them are ready to be placed into firms looking to recruit digital staff, with several success stories already.
And businesses from Newcastle to Teesside can access the learners completely free, and benefit from the new skills and talent in their workforce.
Ms Wake added: “There’s a massive increase in jobs being created in these sectors in the North-East – they’re growing at twice the rate as any other sector.
“At the moment we’re seeing a huge scramble for high-level website developers. This programme enables us to help businesses fill their talent pipeline, by bringing in people who will stay with the company and be nurtured, and ultimately bridge that gap.”
• The Digital Careers Fair is being held 10am-2pm on Friday May 11 at Atom Bank, The Rivergreen Centre, Aykley Heads, Durham.