Seccl, the Bath-based technology company that develops innovative investment software for fintechs and financial advice firms, has today launched its first ‘Digital Academy’ for students and recent graduates.
Taking place over eight weeks, the Academy is a paid placement that will provide an opportunity for four technology-curious students of Bath University to learn and apply the skills that are critical for digital businesses.
Students will be given a crash-course in topics as diverse as intermediate coding, business strategy, regulation, growth marketing, product design, agile working, UX and analytics. And although the Academy will be run remotely due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, it won’t consist solely of classroom-based learning.
Instead, by working directly with Seccl’s 35-strong team of developers, product managers, designers, operations staff and customer success teams, participants will be allowed to rapidly learn new skills, before immediately using them in real-life projects within the business.
Sam Handfield-Jones, co-head of Seccl, said:
“As the last few months testify, our world is one of unbelievably rapid change. Today’s students face an increasingly uncertain tomorrow, as the way we all live and work changes around us.
“But while this change can be daunting, I really believe that young people have the right attitudes and skills to weather it. They might be creating content on social media today, but it’s no great leap to think they could be applying that same creativity and digital savvy to solving customer problems tomorrow. They just need the chance to hone those skills in the world of work.”
Adnan Siddiquei, a second-year Physics student at Bath University, added:
“I enjoy programming and am really interested in finance - so I’m really excited to be able to put them together at a fintech like Seccl.
“It’s a really unique opportunity. I don’t know of any other companies offering this broad type of training to help students hit the ground running in a tech company - or even found their own start-up - when the time comes. I don’t think you could so easily gain those sorts of skills by working in a big company.
“And while it would have been nice to work in the Seccl office and meet the team face-to-face, it won’t stop us from getting stuck into projects remotely. I guess it’ll make the Digital Academy all the more digital!”
Like most businesses, Seccl - which was acquired by the Octopus Group in September 2019 - has been operating remotely since mid-March. Its serverless, cloud-based systems architecture and digital, paper-free investment proposition mean that it can still support businesses as it otherwise would.
What’s more, the company has continued to hire. Since lockdown began, more than 10 people have joined the company, representing a growth in headcount of over 50%.
Rebecca Harvey, Head of People at Seccl, said:
“It’s a really challenging time for businesses, employees and students alike. For young people seeking work experience, or those looking for more permanent roles, it might be especially difficult to find opportunities right now.
“Like many other technology businesses, we’re doing our best to help talented people join under these exceptional circumstances. For those looking to pursue a career in technology, we want to hear from you!”
As well as the summer Academy kicking off today, Seccl will be hosting a year-long Academy in September, for recent graduates or placement-year students. In both cases, students will be paid a starting graduate salary, pro-rated for the length of their placement.