Three young people sat around laptop screen

Bootcamp leads to new careers in tech as three land IT jobs with Sage

People in the North East are kick-starting exciting new careers in technology thanks to a college’s partnership with global tech company Sage.

Gateshead College joined forces with the FTSE100 technology leader headquartered in Newcastle to help the business recruit software developers from its Skills Bootcamps in Digital. Now, three former students, Aneta Pawula, Jeff Ho and ex-chef Jamie Nichol, have been recruited into roles at Sage as part of the company’s commitment to creating better routes into sustainable careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

The eight-week bootcamp training programme was developed through the Government’s Skills for Life campaign, aimed at supporting adults to upskill or retrain in sectors where there is a shortage of workers.

David Ingrouille, Web Development Manager at Sage, said: “The bootcamps have been a huge success and have given people a fantastic opportunity to embark on a career in digital, which otherwise may not have been possible.

“Working with Gateshead College, we’ve been able to identify brilliant local people who are professional and enthusiastic, with a positive can-do attitude, and whose values align with Sage’s.

“The programme has helped us jump-start these employees into technical roles by providing basic skills and knowledge at the bootcamps, which they’re now building on in real jobs.”

Jamie Nichol, 29, from Consett, who was previously working as a chef, studied software development at the college as part of a plan to change careers and is now an associate developer at Sage.

He said: “My intention was to complete a college course before progressing to university. Being offered the chance of an interview with Sage was something I couldn’t pass up and I was so happy to be told I’d been successful.

“Changing career has been the best decision for me and it felt so easy with the fantastic support of my teacher at Gateshead College.”

Jeff Ho, aged 30, from South Shields, emigrated to the UK in 2021 but was struggling to find work despite being a skilled developer in his native Hong Kong. Through the bootcamps, he has now secured an associate developer role at Sage.

He said: “The Skills Bootcamp in Digital was the best way for me to secure employment. I was disheartened about not being able to find a role in the region, but I found out about the programme and decided to give it a go. I’m very happy to have found success with Sage – it’s a great place to work and I’m enjoying my new role.”

Aneta Pawula, 32, originally from Poland, was also recruited as a graduate developer. She had previously studied graphic design before completing the Skills Bootcamp in Data Engineering and Analytical Tools.

She said: “I wasn’t sure if university was the right option for me so the option to complete a bootcamp was ideal for me.

“I found the bootcamp perfect for giving me that additional knowledge and the ability to go into the interview with confidence in my ability.”

Phil O’Neil, Head of Digital Technology and Games at Gateshead College, said: “We’re thrilled to help people secure employment with an employer, such as Sage, through the Skills Bootcamps in Digital.

“These flexible and free programmes are doing exactly what they promise because we’re equipping people with the skills employers are looking for and providing them a stepping stone into sustainable careers.

“We’re working closely with employers, like Sage, to ensure we understand exactly what they need from candidates so that our students are already a step ahead when it comes to their interview.”

Gateshead College is running a number of different Skills Bootcamps in Digital which are free for adults whether they are employed, self-employed, recently unemployed or looking for work.