Helping women return to work in Oxfordshire

TechPixies expand in Oxfordshire_L-R Michael Stack, Nadine Jones, Joy Foster, Ray Avery NNL-170918-120125005
TechPixies expand in Oxfordshire_L-R Michael Stack, Nadine Jones, Joy Foster, Ray Avery NNL-170918-120125005

A social enterprise that helps women return to work by teaching them new tech skills is branching out across Oxfordshire thanks to new partnerships that will enable courses to start in Banbury and Bicester later this year.

TechPixies has enlisted the support of Bloxham Mill Business Centre near Banbury and Stack and Jones Accountants near Bicester, to provide complimentary meeting room space so that women from the surrounding areas can build a local support network at the same time as acquiring new skills.

The social enterprise, which was founded by successful entrepreneur and working mum-of-two Joy Foster, is hosting free digital marketing taster sessions with six-week courses due to commence in Banbury in November and Bicester in February 2018.

The Banbury taster session hosted by Bloxham Mill Business Centre will take place from midday to 2pm on Wednesday, October 11.

And Stack and Jones Accountants in Stratton Audley is holding one from 12-2pm on Friday, November 17.

Joy said: “I’m delighted to welcome two new partners to the TechPixies family. The use of Bloxham Mill Business Centre meeting room space and Stack and Jones’ offices will enable us to reach out to more Oxfordshire women who have a desire to return to work but feel they could benefit from new tech skills taught in a fun and supportive environment.”

Helping women re-enter the workforce is something Michael Stack, founder and director of Stack & Jones feels passionate about.

“When I set-up the business in 1992, I employed mostly women who needed flexible hours to fit either side of the school run,” he said.

“As their children have grown-up, their job role has developed and so has the business. I believe in what TechPixies is doing and am pleased to be able to help.”

Nadine Jones, manager at Stack & Jones, added: “During my six years at Stack & Jones I have seen many of the team benefit from flexible working hours as we feel it’s important for work to fit with life at home.

“We have also seen a positive impact on the business as a happy work place is good for morale and ensures our clients always receive a first class service.”

Ray Avery, managing director of Bloxham Mill Business Centre recognises that women who have taken a career break to have children or who wish to retrain have a lot of transferable skills.

“Bloxham Mill has a heart for community and the people who live and work in it,” he said.

“I was impressed by the drive and passion that TechPixies are applying into the initiative to retrain women who have taken career breaks.

“As such, I am donating meeting room space for them to use for some of their retraining sessions and wish them the best of luck.”

Earlier this year, TechPixies hosted a visit from Prime Minister, Theresa May and exceeded its crowdfunding target to help more Oxfordshire women return to work.

This month also sees the TechPixies programme launch in London with its first London digital marketing course due to commence in November 2017 thanks to national award winning tech business, Azoomee.

The TechPixies programme is also looking for companies who would like to provide returnships for the women who have completed the programme.

Companies interested in offering returnships should go to techpixies.com/help-us.

To sign up for a free TechPixies taster session using code TPNEWS, register on a course or donate to the programme, visit: techpixies.com.