Welsh data science sector to rival London with launch of graduate scheme

Business management consultancy the Welsh Contact Centre Forum is on the lookout for bright data science graduates to apply for its new training programme.

Launched recently, the Welsh Data Science Graduate Programme is aimed at giving the country’s top talent added incentive to build careers in Wales’ booming digital sector.

Supported by £2.3 million of EU funding, it’s been designed in consultation with data scientists from leading Welsh companies, the University of South Wales and experts from the Office for National Statistics.

Over the coming years, the Welsh Contact Centre Forum will work with the industry to attract and retain top Welsh graduates by giving them the chance to start their careers through a unique pathway.

Traditionally, high calibre graduates have instinctively looked for opportunities in London. However, several graduate employers – including PwC – believe that the city’s high cost of living is affecting its appeal.

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said: “The Welsh Government is committed to retaining graduate talent in Wales, helping them to progress and gain the high-level skills and experience they need to develop successful careers and become tomorrow’s leaders.

“I am pleased EU funds are supporting this important area of data science, which is vital for our future and will help grow our economy.”

Sandra Busby, managing director of the Welsh Contact Centre Forum, said: “The potential of Wales’ data science industry is truly limitless.

“We’re not only launching a means for businesses to grow their talent pool, but we’re also providing the country’s top talent with an opportunity they can’t find anywhere else.

“In doing so, we aim to encourage businesses and graduates alike to recognise the opportunities that are open to them if they take the opportunity to invest in Wales.”

A number of high-profile organisations have already signed up to support the programme, including  Admiral, Atradius, Hodge Bank, Lexis Nexis Risk Solutions, Motonovo Finance, Optimum Credit Ltd, Principality Building Society and GoCompare.

Lee Griffin, founder and president of GoCompare, said: “We take our responsibility as an employer and nurturer of talent very seriously, which is why we launched the GoFurther Academy, through which we deliver all of our employee training initiatives.

“Our investment in the Welsh Data Science Graduate Programme complements this and, we believe, will have substantial benefits for talent development, the economy and the growing tech community in Wales.

Rob Saunders, managing director of ActiveQuote, added: “As well as supporting ActiveQuote’s objective to innovate in health and protection insurance comparison, having an improved understanding of our data will also help us make better decisions for our customers and continue to lead the field in the insurance market.

 “We have been really impressed with the knowledge and skills of the graduates joining the programme and we’re looking forward to seeing the outputs from the projects they will support us with.

“As a business looking to create 35 jobs over the next 12 months, we wholeheartedly support anything that helps to encourage talented graduates to come to Wales.”