Work experience students from the Social Mobility Foundation


26 November 2014, by

At Softwire, we’ve been trying to get more young people from different backgrounds interested in technology, through initiatives such as Code Club and TeenTech City.

Last month, we were really excited to welcome two work experience students sent to us from the Social Mobility Foundation.

The SMF’s work experience programme is already well-established. They select really bright and enthusiastic young people from low-income backgrounds, who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to get work experience placements. We are one of the very first software development companies to participate in the programme.

Alex and Jeffrey gave up their week-long half-term to arrive bright and early on Monday morning – before some of us had even got out of bed! Instead of putting them on a regular project, which would be hard to pick up in just one week, we put them through a customized version of our usual training week for new starters and interns.  We set them some problems to solve using JavaScript, including some of the challenges we used in our internal Speed Coding competitions.  They didn’t have much previous experience in programming, and certainly didn’t know any JavaScript, but they soon got the hang of it, with help from colleagues at Softwire who volunteered their time.  They were confident and friendly, and fit right in to our office environment.

Afterwards, the SMF delivered some feedback from the students – we were really pleased to hear that they had a great time, and that their experience had increased their enthusiasm for the technology sector. One of our students commented,

“It was absolutely the best work experience I could have wished for. Not only was I doing things that I enjoy doing, but also the working environment was fantastic, not to mention the co-workers. It was a really great week, and I hope that wherever my career takes me, it will be as good as this.”

Thanks to the SMF, we are privileged to have made a real difference to these two young people. There are various ways that professionals and employers can support the SMF’s work, so if you’d like to make a difference too, get involved!

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Categories: CSR

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