ESTnet Premier Member GoCompare has developed its own innovative solution to attracting the best talent while investing in its local South Wales community with its GoFurther Academy.
Launched at the Digital Festival in May, GoFurther Academy offers a range of initiatives such as graduate schemes, internships, apprenticeships and work experience initiatives.
The Welsh Fintech company has grown rapidly in the last few years to become one of the UK’s most recognisable technology brands. The GoFurther Academy aims to secure talented people to enable further growth while providing opportunities for people to achieve their potential and secure a future in the Fintech industry. Talent Management Business Partner at GoCompare, Jon Williams, said;
“GoCompare is committed to Wales and to Newport and the wider region. To achieve our growth objectives while staying in Wales we need to recruit and invest in local talent. We know that there are incredibly talented people in the area, but they need to be identified and nurtured.
“The GoFurther Academy helps us to raise awareness of the opportunities available within GoCompare while recruiting the people we need to compete and grow. We need to develop and work closely with local schools, colleges and universities to start building an employer led curriculum. This will allow them to know how we work, the skills that we need and how to shape qualifications and programmes around these requirements.
“For example, our first major investment for the GoFurther Academy is our first sponsored degree, developed in partnership with Aston University. It will give people the opportunity to get valuable experience combined with a quality, debt-free, university education.” Jon continued;
“Successful applicants will get a fully paid-for education while earning a wage working for GoCompare. Their experience starts with a seven-week, full-time ‘Bootcamp’ where they gain rapid exposure to the latest technology, learn soft skills, and are prepared for the world of work. They then embark upon a four-and-a-half-year degree programme in Digital and Technology Solutions while earning a highly competitive salary. “
As part of raising awareness of the Academy and the business, GoCompare are visiting local schools and colleges including attending various events. As Jon explains;
“There is a lot of talent in Wales but there is nevertheless a skills shortage in roles that are critical for a Fintech company, such as data science and digital product management. To address this, we are trying some innovative approaches, under the umbrella of the GoFurther Academy, to sell GoCompare as a fantastic place to work and to find those who are capable of working here. We only launched in May but we’ve had fantastic feedback from various businesses, industry experts and educational establishments.
The commitment to invest in people through the GoFurther Academy comes from the very top of the organisation, with talent development seen as crucial to help the company maintain its position as one of the UK’s most recognised Fintech brands and continue its rapid growth. It is a commitment supported by a company culture where employees are given the support and autonomy they need to achieve their objectives and where employee well-being is a top priority, particularly important for young people on the threshold of new beginnings;
“We are very aware that entering the world of work and going to university is a major transition for young people” said Jon “Those in GoFurther Academy will benefit from a strong network of support from within the company and through our partners. We pride ourselves on the culture we have created. Having the culture and support mechanisms in place allows us to unlock people’s true potential”
In addition to its current offer, the GoFurther Academy is exploring other opportunities with universities and colleges in South Wales, identify skills gaps and create more employer led training and qualifications to create centres of excellence.
“Some people tend to see us as an insurance company or call centre, which simply isn’t true” said Mr. Williams. “While insurance comparison is a major part of our service, we are a Fintech business. We are also investors, having acquired MyVoucherCodes and Energy Linx. We have also made investments into businesses such as MortgageGym and Souqalmal.com, a Dubai based price comparison site.
“We have experienced rapid growth over the last few years and are likely to continue to grow for the foreseeable future. To grow successfully we need to continue to invest in our workforce, to ensure that it is diverse, inclusive and highly-skilled. We are selling a lifestyle here at GoCompare, and it’s been really refreshing and somewhat humbling to get feedback about how it’s appreciated and valued by employees.”
This focus on Wales, collaboration and diversity in the technology sector workforce is one reason why GoCompare have joined the ESTnet as a Premier Member;
“When we met with Avril (ESTnet Managing Director Avril Lewis) it was clear that our organisations have a shared passion for Welsh technology. The ESTnet are working to ensure that people are aware of the opportunities available to them in Welsh tech, and working to ensure that more females enter the industry, which matches our own objectives. We were also impressed with the ESTnet’s drive to get local companies to work collaboratively to promote Welsh tech across the globe, we look forward to being a part of that.”
For more information about the GoFurther Academy, please visit their website here: https://www.gocompare.com/gofurther/