Tackling the UK’s digital skills gap with highly skilled military veterans

The Brief:

Element works with many ambitious technology companies who, as part of their rapid growth, task us with building a media profile for them in a new market as they seek to gain awareness and trust among their target customers. Headquartered near Sydney, Australia, social impact firm WithYouWithMe has established itself as APAC’s fastest-growing tech company as featured in the Deloitte Technology 50. Following success in APAC, WithYouWithMe wanted to break into the UK market and appointed Element to launch and sustain a UK PR and communications campaign. 

WithYouWithMe supports armed forces veterans and their partners, as well as other marginalised sections of society, by delivering innovative aptitude testing and digital skills training for high demand tech careers. Rather than relying on traditional recruitment practices such a reviewing CVs of job applicants, WithYouWithMe – through its platform called “Potential” – uses its end-to-end talent pipeline system to match candidates to digital roles to give a more accurate representation of the talent and considerable latent potential that exists within the veteran community, while creating a more diverse workforce and positive social impact. Since 2015, the business has so far seen more than 75,000 individuals from around the world, including refugees and neurodivergent individuals, join its platform. If an individual has the aptitude and attitude that’s right for a digital career, WYWM trains them to be proficient in under 100 hours. 

What WithYouWithMe needed:

  • A UK-centric media campaign to build the company’s UK profile for the first time and set out its ambition to uniquely tackle the UK’s digital skills gap 
  • To increase its UK share of voice having established a solid media profile in APAC 
  • A campaign underpinned by storytelling, which would humanise the brand and build awareness among, and trust with, UK corporates 
  • Coverage spanning national, business, technology, recruitment and HR media to reach cross-sector private companies as well as public sector organisations 
  • To communicate proof points and evidence of its technology in action

The Campaign:

Each year, 15,000 people leave the UK military and return to civilian life but struggle to find meaningful employment. To address this real-world problem, WithYouWithMe launched, with Element’s support, its 15,000 Futures campaign.
15,000 Futures saw six major UK employers – Capita plc, Northrop Grumman, Atos, Leonardo UK, Fujitsu and Leidos – become the first organisations to sign a commitment to fill a proportion of their digital vacancies with former servicemen and women, along with their families, which would go some way towards ensuring that armed forces veterans and their partners could find meaningful employment in technology and digital roles, thanks to the free digital skills training offered by WithYouWithMe.

Element were tasked with generating significant media attention around the launch of 15,000 Futures, leveraging the names of the large well-known UK corporates involved to educate, inspire and engage other businesses of a similar size across the UK while positioning WithYouWithMe as firm that’s driving real-world impact.

Alongside the launch of 15,000 Futures, Element continued to grow awareness and credibility for WithYouWithMe in the UK media by utilising data-led insights and leveraging the story of founder and CEO Tom Moore and expertise across the senior leadership team, including: Board Advisor and former head of GCHQ Sally Walker, General (retired) Sir James Everard KCB CBE, and Major General (retired) Rupert Jones CBE, through thought leadership, commentary and personal profiling.

The Results:

A flurry of targeted media coverage across the business, technology, HR and recruitment media announced the launch of 15,000 Futures and the commitment made by UK corporates. These included stand-out pieces in UKTN and HR Magazine, the latter featuring an in-depth interview with Sally Walker who explained how under-represented groups have the skills needed to excel in high-demand tech careers, and issued a call to action for business leaders to challenge the traditional way of recruiting to fix the UK’s tech skills gap.

 

This specific campaign, underpinned by a regular stream of news-worthy and thought-provoking thought leadership, commentary, and data-led insights from WithYouWithMe’s leadership team, achieved 15 pieces of high value UK-centric media coverage for the business within the first four months of activating the campaign.

Element has the knowledge and expertise to help us drive awareness of global issues and trigger much-needed change leading to more inclusive recruitment programmes. They’re a partner that we can trust to deliver on bold and ambitious concepts and bring our story to life in truly compelling ways.

Cia Kouparitsas
Chief Marketing Officer at WithYouWithMe