Princess Royal Training Awards
The awards programme honours those employers who have created outstanding training and skills development courses that have resulted in exceptional commercial benefits.
Recipients of the award join the Princess Royal Training Awards Alumni, which provides access to a network of award holders who are leaders in training and development.
The awards are supported by its President, HRH Princess Royal, who is a keen advocate of skills development.
Why was the BJSS academy selected
The Academy received the award for its emphasis on creating equal opportunities for people from all backgrounds.
Partly because of the historical view that tech is a “man’s domain” – a perception that discourages many women from exploring careers in the sector - BJSS and the wider tech industry has historically employed a disproportionate number of male workers.
To meet stringent company-specific diversity targets and help create more balance in the industry, the BJSS Academy was created to ensure opportunities were made available to everyone, regardless of their background. Rather than formal qualifications being a requirement for entry, the Academy looks for people with a passion and talent for technology and an internal drive and desire to succeed.
The BJSS Academy has been designed to encourage innovation. The infrastructure has been carefully tailored to cater to varying lifestyle requirements, allowing for learning to occur wherever it’s most convenient.
The BJSS Academy has invested in multiple physical, digital, and virtual learning channels, including O’Reilly Learning - a tech and professional skills platform containing over 50,000 books, videos, eLearning courses, interactive programming exercises, sandpit environments, and webinars. Investment has also been placed in Learnhub, a learning management system that includes high-quality training content for the various roles in BJSS.
Since the Academy was introduced in 2017, it has helped increase diversity within BJSS and the wider technology industry. It is also helping to mould the engineers of tomorrow who, in turn, will inspire others from similar backgrounds to consider a tech career.
What this means for BJSS academy applicants
The award gives BJSS Academy applicants the confidence to enrol with one of the UK’s finest technology academies.
As a place of education, the Academy already stands out in the field by not mandating that candidates have degrees or formal qualifications in relevant fields, such as Mathematics or Computer Science, which is often a barrier for those wishing to pursue a career in tech.
It’s a model that proves, if they are provided with excellent training and opportunities for progression, anyone from any background can become a valuable member of the business and have a successful career in tech.
BJSS Academy students are also placed onto real client projects just a month after starting. This quickly develops new, on-the-job skills and provides a realistic perspective on some of the responsibilities they will experience early on in their career. It’s a training schedule that both benefits the students and contributes to the overall success of BJSS.
Interested in starting a career in tech?
Today’s tech sector is a hub of inventiveness and innovation, so its appeal to people from all backgrounds is understandable. Should a tech career be a challenge you wish to take on, consider these tips as provided by real BJSS software engineers.
Prioritise wellbeing and experience – Protecting your mental and physical wellbeing is essential for
thriving within a career in tech. Ask potential employers about the level of support you’ll get from line managers and team leaders and what access there is to support programmes such as therapy, exercise classes, and social events.
Some prior experience, whether that’s coding up your own simple game or building a website around something that interests you, will make the transition into tech easier. And, if starting from scratch, the internet is packed with free learning materials.
Look for a good fit - Software development is a collaborative process that relies on strong human relationships, so research companies to see which you think would be a good fit.
Websites such as Glassdoor are useful research tools and give access to real, anonymous reviews. If a company scores poorly, look at how (and whether) they respond to comments as this will give an idea of how they are likely to respond to work issues.
Corporate mission statements also provide insight for what a company believes in and how it operates. How well do their values align with your own? Because if they align well, then you’ll be working with people who share your ideals and principles.
It's not just an interview, it’s a conversation - Interviews are about more than just answering questions and trying to impress those asking them. They are two-way conversations that you should feel confident to engage in fully.
You are within your right to ask a company how they will support you in t
he early stages of your career and your professional development thereafter. Also, ask interviewers what they find challenging about working for the company. So
me challenges might excite you, like working on disruptive projects, while others, such as a tendency for managers to be a little tough, could be off-putting.
Starting a new career with an award-winning Academy
The presentation of a Princess Royal Training Award to the BJSS Academy is confirmation that despite being only four years old, it is already making essential contributions to the UK tech sector.
It is an environment that celebrates diversity, opens doors to those who believed them to be shut, and nurtures talent, which enriches the whole industry.
If a career in tech is a route that interests you, but, for whatever reason, you’ve never made meaningful steps towards it, start by visiting the BJSS Academy website.
Who knows where it could lead you?