Kainos came Highly Commended in the Education Award category at the 2017 Responsible Business Award in Northern Ireland.

Kainos demonstrated how its Tech Outreach programme has helped raise the aspirations and achievements of young people (aged 4-19) through a solid business education partnership.

The programme, established in 2014, is designed to harness the enthusiasm and skills of the Kainos team in order to radically inspire, enthuse and educate young people as the future of the digital economy. Through partnerships with organisations such as the Prince’s Trust, Code Club and CCEA, Kainos delivers a variety of educational outreach activities to young people across Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Each year Kainos donates around £100k and over 1000 hours of staff time to ensure that the programme helps as many young people across the UK and Ireland as possible. Here are just some of the many activities undertaken by Kainos volunteers as part of the programme:

  • They work with the Prince’s Trust to develop their first STEM programme; software programming courses for young people age 14-16 who are at risk of leaving school with less than 5 GCSEs. Staff go into schools to teach courses in basic programming as well as life skills such as financial management, designed to increase their confidence.
  • Volunteers partner with local primary schools to deliver weekly Code Club sessions or one-off Lego League sessions giving primary children a taste of coding and helping to raise their future aspirations.
  • Each year Kainos runs a two-week CodeCamp with Queens University teach young people age 14-18 to develop an app with some winning professional mentorship to help them develop their app further.
  • Kainos worked with CCEA to develop the coding curriculum in Northern Ireland and to help teachers become more confident and enthusiastic in teaching coding.
  • Kainos curates BelTech EDU annually, inviting 500 young people from dozens of schools to join us for a one day technology conference showcasing young entrepreneurship and innovation.

In the three years Tech Outreach has been running, Kainos has directly impacted the lives of over 4000 young people, helping them to develop their skills, increase their knowledge and understand the opportunities available to them in the IT industry.

“We’re absolutely delighted that the Tech Outreach programme has been recognised in these prestigious awards,” says Gemma Crothers, Tech Outreach Programme Manager. “At Kainos we’re passionate about working with young people – it’s more than just a CSR activity, it’s a huge part of what we do. Thanks to our amazing staff volunteers we’ve been able to really helps lots of young people, and this award has only inspired us to do even more. July’s CodeCamp is the biggest and best yet, and that’s just the start – we have big plans for Tech Outreach over the next two years so watch this space!”

Winners were announced at a gala awards dinner at Belfast Waterfront Hall on Thursday 1 June. In attendence from Kainos were Gemma Crothers, Programme Manager, with Tech Outreach volunteers Peter McAree, Seamus Sands and Jarlath Gallagher.

For more information on Tech Outreach visit www.kainos.com/givingback