Cognizant Foundation Commits £1.1 Million to Expand Access to Tech Career Pathways in the UK

Cognizant Foundation Commits £1.1 Million to Expand Access to Tech Career Pathways in the UK

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TechVets is delighted to be named as a recipient for a grant from the Cognizant Foundation that will support work to provide underrepresented groups such as military veterans and their families with greater access to economic opportunity and social mobility through tech training.

The Cognizant Foundation announced on Friday that £1.1 million ($1.3 million) in grants would be given to five organisations working across the UK to connect individuals from historically excluded and underserved backgrounds with opportunities to develop in-demand STEM skills and gain access to tech careers.

One of the organisations to receive a grant is TechVets. CEO James Murphy, said,

“Digital and tech is critical for the UK’s future prosperity and we are in need of fantastic talented people to support the growth of the tech sector in the UK. I understand first-hand the challenges that military veterans, service leavers and their families face, with so many becoming underemployed, but the Forces community can provide a diversity of thought yet to be capitalised upon in many tech teams and they come with incredible professional skills and experience. Collaboration is critical, and I am extremely grateful for the support we have received from the Cognizant Foundation that will enable my team to widen our reach, broaden our services and increase the impact we can have on so many more people.”

Rob Walker, President of Global Growth Markets at Cognizant says;

“To be successful in an evolving global economy, individuals must have an equitable opportunity to develop digital and STEM skills, as well as necessary support to enter—and stay—in industries like tech.​​Our foundation’s investment in these five organisations reflects Cognizant’s steadfast commitment to advancing economic mobility and expanding access to high-quality tech training and STEM education in communities across the globe.”

These new grants build on the foundation’s initial UK investments made last year, all with the goal of providing life-changing opportunities for students and jobseekers. The UK grantmaking is part of Cognizant’s broader global CSR commitment to engineer impact for good through initiatives that advance economic mobility, educational opportunity, diversity and inclusion, and health and well-being in communities around the world. 

Building the STEM Pipeline of Tomorrow, Today

STEM education is best implemented early in one’s childhood, which is why organisations that partner at a local level may hold the key to equipping young learners with the skills and tools to realise their full potential.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) recently found that interest in STEM courses has seen unprecedented growth in the UK, including in subjects such as computer science and engineering—and organisations like the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a new Cognizant Foundation grantee partner, are dedicated to providing computer science and STEM educators with the resources needed to provide students with the high-quality education that is invaluable when exploring STEM-related fields later in life.

Expanding Equitable Pathways into STEM Careers

Reports show that Covid-19 has widened not only the existing racial wealth gap, but also the systemic gaps in education and earning potential that are driven by gender and geography. Furthermore, social mobility tends to be more limited in the UK compared to other European countries—signalling less opportunity for the pandemic’s negative trends to be corrected in the long term.

Recognising these challenges, organisations are working to diversify talent pipelines and equip individuals of all backgrounds across the UK with the means to explore and break into sustainable, fulfilling careers in high-demand fields like technology. Leading charities and Cognizant Foundation grantee partners Code First Girls, The Prince’s Trust, Social Mobility Foundation and TechVets work on a localised basis to support both students and professionals, scaling new pathways to economic freedom and social mobility for underrepresented groups…