AO switches on to IT returner opportunity

Online electricals retailer AO is supporting individuals looking to return to roles in technology - and plugging gaps in its own IT capabilities - by teaming up with Tech Returners.

North-West England-based AO will support 16 individuals through an eight-week programme designed to enable them to return to a technology role after a career break, with the opportunity for all 16 to apply for a role at AO at the end of the programme.

The Your Return To Tech programme recognises the need of businesses growing their teams to bring tech talent to the market “quickly” and with the skills in place to “hit the ground running” in mid to senior-level technical roles.

The entirely remote learning experience includes refreshing existing tech skills, front-end frameworks, cloud technologies and platform engineering skills such as infrastructure-as-code. Individuals taking part in the programme will also take live briefs from AO to work on throughout the eight-week period.

Since 2017, Manchester-based Tech Returners has supported more than 55 returners - 49 of them women - into businesses like AutoTrader,, Lloyds Banking Group, ANS and Infinity Works, and has worked exclusively with the BBC in Manchester and London.

Director of group IT at AO Carl Phillips said: “We’re always looking for people who have a real passion for what they do. For us, it’s not always about having years of experience, it’s about the individual, so we’re looking forward to working with this group of tech returners.”

Tech Returners CTO and co-founder James Heggs said: “We know AO will be getting some first-class technical talent and for our returners we know we’re connecting them with a business that cares about them and their career.”

The programme is open to anyone returning to a technical career or who have a technical qualification, and who have taken a career break from tech for six years or less.

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