Listed tech training provider Northcoders has moved to acquire Tech Returners in a cash and shares deal worth £1.5 million.

Northcoders runs training programmes for software coding and data engineering, and also has sites in Leeds, Newcastle and Birmingham.

Established in 2016 and also based in Manchester, Tech Returners specialises in training and placing of mid-senior level professionals looking to re-enter the workplace after a career break in the technology sector.

It runs refresher courses on software engineering, confidence and digital leadership. Its client roster has included global brands such as AutoTrader, BBC, booking.com, checkout.com, The Guardian, Holiday Extras, Lloyds, On the Beach and the Telegraph. 

Its 16-strong team will support Northcoders in building a significant presence in key locations such as London. There is a solid shared cultural focus between the two firms – especially around diversity in the technology sector, with over 60% of returners being women and a strong track record of training ex-services personnel, refugees and supporting international disposition.

Tech Returners is expected to be fully integrated into Northcoders by Q2 2023 and will continue to operate under its existing brand.  Founders Beckie Taylor and James Heggs will join the Northcoders senior leadership team on completion of the deal. 

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In 2019 Taylor, who is the 12th most influential woman in tech according to Computer Weekly, founded Reframe Women in Tech – the largest Women in Tech conference in the North of England – which she will continue to run and grow as part of the Northcoders Group.  

Heggs will continue to run the DevOps Manchester meetup. He has also been instrumental in helping to set up the new Northcoders DevOps course which is launching in March.

“James and I have respected and collaborated with Northcoders in the past, so we know the fit is right,” said Taylor. “Our shared objectives are to ultimately drive talent retention in businesses, to attract the best and most passionate minds in the tech industry and to help build diverse teams. 

“By combining our experiences and skillsets, I believe that we will create something really special that will have a lasting impact.”

Chris Hill, CEO of Northcoders, added: “Northcoders and Tech Returners share many common goals and values so this deal is an exciting step in our joint evolutions. 

“Over the past eight years, Northcoders has grown to become one of the country’s leading coding bootcamps and is respected across the tech ecosystem as a place that produces talented junior devs in software development, data engineering and dev ops. 

“Tech Returners have been on a similar mission but for experienced people returning to tech.

“As a result of this deal we will become the only organisation that allows businesses access to the most diverse and comprehensive pool of top tech experts across all experience levels, and that’s something that will stand us apart from the competition.”

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