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Displaced Ukrainian women land new careers in tech thanks to Royal Bank of Scotland partnership

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A first-of-its-kind training programme helping displaced Ukrainian women to develop the skills needed to start a career in tech is celebrating its first anniversary with a host of permanent job offers.

Royal Bank of Scotland’s Women in Tech pilot – delivered in partnership with Code First Girls, Capital City Partnership, Equate and Data Lab – has enabled three displaced Ukrainian women to secure full-time positions at the bank’s Edinburgh headquarters.

One year since its official launch, the programme has delivered free technology skills training a total of 53 Ukrainians who settled in Scotland after being forced to flee the conflict.

Following an initial eight-week course, three of the cohort went on to complete a fully funded Code First Girls’ Masters qualification, landing permanent Trainee Engineer roles within Royal Bank of Scotland.

In celebration of the milestone, Royal Bank hosted an event at its Gogarburn HQ this week, allowing the Women in Tech graduates to familiarise themselves with their new office campus and meet with senior members of the bank’s Digital X team.

Kateryna Losyeva, who completed the course and is now preparing to start her new role, said: “I always wanted to move into a career in tech, even before the war.

“However, when the conflict began it obviously put a stop to any dreams of a new job – suddenly, my only priority became making sure my daughter was safe. We’d lie awake every night, unable to sleep because of the shelling going on around, and I knew we needed to leave.

“When we first arrived in Edinburgh, I was willing to take on any job. It was a friend who told me about the Women in Tech programme, and I decided to apply. The course completely transformed my new life in Scotland and when I read the email offering me a permanent job, I couldn’t believe it.

“After everything we’ve been through, it still feels too good to be true that I’ve ended up with a career I’ve always dreamed of.”

The training programme is an extension of Royal Bank’s commitment to helping displaced Ukrainians. In 2022, the bank partnered with Edinburgh City Council and the Scottish Government to open a Welcome Centre within their Gogarburn headquarters, which distributed over 10,000 welcome packs and handed our more than 2000 children’s toothbrushes, 4,000 books and 2,000 sanitary packs each month. 

Code First Girls is dedicated to reducing the gender diversity gap in tech by giving more women the opportunity to learn new skills and pursue careers in tech. To date, they have delivered £75 million worth of free technology education in the UK and have provided free education and employment opportunities for more than 110,000 women.

Victoria Cleverley, Chief Operating Officer, Digital X at Royal Bank of Scotland said: “We recognise that our team is in a privileged position where we our resources and expertise can be used to deliver real change which can improve lives.

“Working with Code First Girls and our wider partners, we have successfully delivered training and opportunities that champion the potential of people. As a relationship bank in a digital world, where 67%* of our customers exclusively use digital channels, we want to nurture a diverse technology workforce and build Scotland’s coding and software engineering sector. 

“After facing unimaginable hardship on their journey to Scotland, these permanent job offers are testament to the skills, dedication and passion our new team members. We’re excited to welcome them to the team and look forward to seeing them put their new skills into action for the benefit of our customers.”

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