The GoFurther Academy – Bridging the gap between education and the workplace

Here at GoCo, our staff are at the heart of our business. That’s why we make sure that they are at the top of their game.

The GoFurther Academy is an initiative that will enable the existing workforce and prospective students develop and progress in their careers.

Launched in May 2018, The GoFurther Academy offers a range of programmes including sponsorships, graduate schemes, internships, apprenticeships and work placements/experiences. Our academy allows opportunities to develop and encourages people to flourish. We create an environment and culture where everyone can succeed.

Our objectives are simple:

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The beating heart of GoCo

Our staff make GoCompare the brilliant business that it is so we work hard to make sure that they’re well looked after.

By launching an academy, we’re able to offer our talented bunch even more opportunities for development so they’re able to continue to expand their range of expertise, knowledge and competencies.

We want our people to reach their highest potential, and by establishing links between educational establishments and GoCo, our employees have the chance to enhance their skills and achieve their aspirations.

The GoFurther Academy creates a more robust and diverse pipeline of talent throughout the GoCo Group. As well as helping our staff to prosper, we also do a lot for the local community. The GoFurther Academy allows us to go the extra mile.

Out of the classroom, into the workplace…

We know that it can be difficult to jump from education into the workplace so we’re aiming to help bridge the growing gap between academia and industry.

We’re keen to find and nurture home grown talent by helping fresh faces kick-start their career.

Working with various training providers, local colleges and universities, the academy offers opportunities for students to achieve recognised qualifications whilst gaining valuable workplace experience. Students can learn from leaders in their field while working side by side with GoCo Group staff to develop their skills and knowledge.

In 2018, the GoFurther Academy launched a number of key initiatives. One of these being the GoCo Sponsored Degree. Working in partnership with Aston University, we started recruiting in August 2018. The process consisted of applicants attending an assessment centre where they completed psychometric testing, work based tasks and an interview. The first intake saw 5 successful students enrolled on the well-established Aston programme and they began studying their BSc Honours Degree in Digital and Technology Solutions.

The programme offers students the opportunity to earn whilst they learn. What’s more, the degree is also paid for so there’s no debt looming over their heads when they finish as well as receiving 4 ½ years’ worth of invaluable work experience.

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We have also invested in the Data Science Graduate Programme, working in collaboration with the University of South Wales. This initiative has some brilliant, well-established Welsh companies involved and sees recent graduates studying towards an MSc in Data Science doing three rotational work placements across the different businesses. We have now had 2 placement students with us since October 1st 2018.

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We have also run internships and work experience programmes recently including a Data Science Intern, a USW intern and recently provided a part time role with the Cyber Security team for a student who is completing their final year of a Cyber Security based Degree. We also provide support, advice and guidance to students in various areas including tech and marketing.

And how does it benefit us?

The GoFurther Academy brings us new bright sparks with innovative and creative ideas.

It’s a win-win!

But, all of this is not enough. There simply are not enough candidates for the future needs of our business and tech businesses in South Wales. We need to do more as a community of tech leaders to promote Wales as a global centre of technology excellence. The GoFurther Academy will give us the platform to be able to do this.

Alongside government schemes, our future can be forged with a consistent and practical approach to the skills shortage in technology. It is a future that is bright, but one that we need to work at to achieve.