Published on 10th July 2020

People joining hands

Cheltenham has committed to championing diversity within tech and digital employment through signing up to the national Tech Talent Charter.

As the first local authority in Gloucestershire to join the charter, Cheltenham Borough Council alongside Publica joins the likes of Channel 4, Sky, Cisco and BT and close to 300 other companies that have also signed up and are committed to inclusive recruitment within this sector.

The Tech Talent Charter (TTC) is a Government sponsored initiative which aims to deliver greater diversity in the UK’s tech workforce and work with companies across the UK to ensure this is a nationwide aspiration.

Cheltenham has ambitious plans to deliver a £400 million, multi-purpose Golden Valley-style development with the UK’s first cyber-focused campus, Cyber Central, at its heart. Attracting even more tech giants and innovative starts ups who will flourish, and contribute to a truly dynamic tech scene with unlimited opportunities for business growth, recruitment and investment. The council, will be looking to continue to put a real focus on its own inclusive recruitment practices and also work with the sector in the borough and county to encourage other employers to consider how they can help to deliver diversity across the wider tech and digital workforce.

Signing up to the Charter builds on successes for the council such as the MJ award of Best Commercial Council 2019 and APSE Best Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship Initiative 2019. In 2021, Cheltenham’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) project of which the council is a key part, will also be working with a wide variety of stakeholders to look at children’s digital inclusion and inspiring young people to develop STEM skills.

Councillor Alex Hegenbarth member for corporate services: “The council is firmly committed to inclusive recruitment practices. Following Cllr Willingham’s motion that was supported, we take great pride in the fact we are the first local authority in Gloucestershire to sign up to the charter and look forward to working with other employers across the borough and county to make even more of a difference going forward.”

Jan Britton, managing director of Publica, said: “It is important that local government reflects the communities it represents. I am delighted that Publica is supporting TCC and the charter as part of our commitment to supporting diversity and providing opportunities to our whole community”.

Talent Tech Charter CEO Debbie Forster said: ''The importance of diversity is, thankfully, no longer up for debate. The industry now needs to work together to shift the dial – and this will happen a lot quicker if we pool our successes, failures, ideas and learn from them to bring about real structural change in tech businesses and beyond.

‘’In our inaugural report we stressed the importance of collaboration. One single company can’t do it alone, which is why we’re asking organisations to sign up to the Tech Talent Charter and join the movement. They can also access our TTC Toolkit, a set of free resources designed to help organisations improve their inclusion and diversity''.

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