Women’s Returner Scheme Graduates Land New Roles in NI Tech Sector

  • The innovative female returners programme Press Refresh, delivered by Women in Business in partnership with Belfast Metropolitan College, is celebrating the class of 2022 with two course graduates already securing jobs within global financial tech firm FinTru.

    Press Refresh is an intensive 17-week programme funded by the Department for the Economy to equip women returners with new skills necessary to build their careers within Northern Ireland’s booming tech industry.

    Research by DCMS found that NI’s digital ecosystem has the potential to grow by at least £800 million by 2025, a 53% increase in 2019’s value. Despite this, females are still largely under–represented within the sector, with just 20% of tech jobs across the UK currently held by women.

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    The Press Refresh scheme, which had 20 places available to women, received almost 300 applications in 2022, and has already aided two of the graduates into new jobs. 

    Two participants, Caroline Colgan and Mariclare Kelsall, have secured roles within tech and operations across FinTru. The global financial firm, whose Belfast office is located at the Gasworks area, was one of several WiB forum members instrumental in developing the Press Refresh programme.

    Roseann Kelly, Chief Executive of Women in Business, said: ““The IT sector is largely male dominated, with only 20% of tech jobs currently held by women. However, with the support of the Department for the Economy and by working closely with our friends at Belfast Metropolitan College, we are enabling women across Northern Ireland to find their place in the country’s booming tech industry. With nearly 300 applicants to 2022’s programme, Press Refresh is a timely reminder of the untapped potential of local female talent, and with it, the need to scale female-specific schemes to help answer Northern Ireland’s skill shortage.”

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    Louise Warde Hunter, Principal & Chief Executive at Belfast Metropolitan College, also added: ““This highly successful initiative has enabled participants to gain industry relevant skills and qualifications to enable them to pursue a role in Data Analytics. The commitment of all participants to complete this technically challenging programme during the Covid-19 pandemic has been inspirational and I wish them all success in their future roles.”

    To find out more information on Press Refresh, please visit https://pressrefresh.co.uk/

    Source: Written from press release.

    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

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