Durham University in partnership with 16 companies and three universities in the tech industry have launched Tech Up, a six month training programme that will enable 100 women to retrain in the technology sector.

The programme is funded by the Office for Students, through the Institute of Coding. The programme was developed with industry partners, York, Edge Hill and Nottingham University.

This new programme aims to address the shortage in the tech industry by recruiting women who want to start a career in the tech sector, particularly from Black, Asian and other minority or under-represented communities.  Currently, women make up only 15 per cent of the technology sector workforce, significantly lower than most other UK business sectors.

To apply you need to have a degree in any subject. The course consists of online learning and four residential weekends where participants will have the opportunity to network and hear from tech industry leaders. Participants of the programme will learn about data science, machine learning, project management and public speaking amongst other skills.

The programme is the brain child of Durham Professors, Alexandra Cristea and Dr Sue Black, a pioneer of women in technology and founder of #techmums and BCSWomen: the UK’s first online network for women in tech, and Computer Scientist.

Professor Sue Black is well known on tech scene as one of the game changers from Women.  After leaving school at 16, she became a single mum of three by the age of 25. At 26 she returned to education and graduated with a degree in computing, followed by a PhD which led to her academic journey. Sue also set up a campaign to save Bletchley Park, the site of World War Two codebreakers, from demolition. Sue also became an author by writing a a book about her campaign, Saving Bletchley Park.  Sue also set up one of the first women in tech networks via BCS women, and then went on to found TechMums, a coding club for mums who want to get in to technology.

Applications are open until May 10 and successful applicants will be notified by the end of May. The application process will involve a short form and a video explaining why you want to be part of the programme.

For details email ioc.techup@durham.ac.uk, call 0191-3342554 or visit dur.ac.uk/arc/ioc/