Our mission: to make tech careers truly inclusive

How our model helps to accelerate the tech skills and experience of the best talent - regardless of background.

Recently, there has been debate in the employment and consulting sector of the logic and fairness behind training cost repayment. Existing models typically offer learners low- or no-cost training, in exchange for a commitment to a fixed-term work placement, paid for by a customer; should the learners leave during the placement, the training provider requests a proportion of the training fees to be repaid.

Here we share more about La Fosse Academy's model, why we have chosen this approach, and how we look to ensure transparency and fairness through our programmes.

Why we use this model: inclusion in tech careers is our mission

At La Fosse Academy, our mission is to help the best talent, regardless of background, build the tech of tomorrow. Our award-winning programme combines free, rigorous, expert training on tech fundamentals and techniques with a potential 2-year work placements and ongoing career, network and wellbeing support throughout.

Making tech careers accessible and inclusive is at the heart of what we do. To achieve this, we constantly consider a considered balance between

  • Growing our impact by using a model that best serves the joint interests of our students, customers and La Fosse Academy
  • Making our market-leading training as financially accessible as possible
  • Creating the best-possible experience for trainees over the course of development process

We are not a public or charitable organisation; as such, we need to find a suitable model that helps cover our costs while making our training open to a wide range of students.

We firmly believe that our model – where students benefit from the highest quality training, before a potential two-year placement for which they are paid a competitive salary – helps make these factors possible.

To put this in context, it’s worth comparing this model with other forms of tech education:

  • University Post Graduate Study: to study an undergraduate or Masters’ degree in computer science, students typically finance their tuition using student loans. As of autumn 2022, the interest rates will rise to 12% APR in autumn 202. Under the current model, the Department of Education anticipates that graduates will pay back 59p in every £1 over the lifetime of their loans. So, for a typical loan of £20,000, graduates will pay back a total of £41,800.
  • Traditional bootcamps: these bootcamps – typically of a similar number of learning hours to La Fosse Academy training, charge fees of up to £15,00, paid up front or as a proportion of future earnings. This may well mean that these courses exclude people who are not in a financial position to afford these fees up front.  

By contrast, our learners have two options: one – to pay nothing up front but, because we recoup the service cost from the customer over a potential two-year period, agree that they will contribute to a portion of these training costs, on a sliding scale, if they leave before we have recouped this cost (this only applies if they leave for another job in tech – i.e. if our training investment has enabled them to get that job); two, if they prefer, to pay the full training fee up front and have no commitment to complete the potential two-year placement.  

The upshot under option one is that 50% of their training costs written are off after year 1, and the full 100% after year 2.  

Ensuring fairness, transparency & ongoing support

All programme applicants are made aware of these conditions throughout the process, ensuring they are comfortable committing to our agreement. This includes specifically asking candidates in our first interview stage whether they’re comfortable with the model, clearly outlining our terms and conditions on our website, and encouraging questions from candidates throughout so they fully understand what terms they are agreeing to. Applicants also have the chance to pay up front or via a staggered training cost repayment plan. Likewise, if any trainee is unhappy on their potential placement, they have the option to move roles – ensuring them the flexibility they need.

For those with additional financial needs, we offer bursaries to support living costs during training on a case-by-case basis. And, if anyone is not happy during their placement, they are able to switch onto a new placement within their two years.  

We are committed to making our market-leading programme as inclusive as possible and are confident that this is reflected in the terms we agree with everyone who participates.

In addition to our initial training period, we also provide our placed associates with an ongoing programme of support. This includes monthly 121 coaching sessions, peer mentoring, technical mentoring, a comprehensive 2-year technical roadmap supported by further technical study, £500 study allowance for technical industry accreditations and certifications and metal health support.  

Measuring our impact

We measure the impact of our model by collecting regular feedback from our participants via a combination of surveys, NPS ratings and engagement measurement tools. This helps us to continually assess and review how best to support them.

Our impact is backed up by evidence. Less than 2% of our trainees decide to leave the programme within their two-year placement, and our NPS scores from students and trainees are 84 and 60 respectively – far above the professional services average of 43.

Find out more

We are proud of our work and believe wholeheartedly that our model is the right way forward in making tech careers truly accessible and inclusive. If you have any questions or comments, we'd love to hear from us.

Contact us! Get in touch to speak to our team about our model and how it works.

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