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STEM for success – inspiring new tech talent

We are moving towards a time when anyone anywhere will be able to order whatever they want, for whatever meal, at the push of a button. It’s a transformation in how we eat, enabled by technology, and is a trend that has fuelled Just Eat’s phenomenal growth.

But growth doesn’t happen without people. And our people are at the heart of everything we do. From a team of twelve in 2001, today we employ more than 2,900 people around the world – with around 500 of those working in tech.

We want to inspire more young people to consider a career in this exciting industry, which is why we have a team of more than 50 Just Eat STEM ambassadors working with young people across the UK to inspire and educate them about careers in technology.

Tech isn’t just a career path for people who went to university and studied programming. Roles in tech are as diverse and varied as the people that work in them. I studied business studies at Sunderland University and hadn’t even thought about a tech career path until my move to London and the opportunity to train to work on an IT helpdesk. I now head up enterprise IT at Just Eat, a leading global marketplace with operations in 13 countries.

At Just Eat, we look for people with varied skill sets. Tech is not all coding and programming, C# and Python. For example, people with a passion for design are great at UX, and people who are well-organised, make fantastic project managers.

For Enterprise IT, being the first point of contact for IT support across the business, we look for people with great communication skills and a passion for customer service – in fact, over a quarter of the people working in my team were recruited from our internal customer operations team or via an apprenticeship.

Earlier this year, we were in Bristol at The Big Bang Fair 2018, the South West’s largest celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). Our ambassadors were volunteering their time, enthusiasm and experience to tell the more than 1,000 primary and secondary school students at the event what working in tech is like, and how STEM can help them get there.

According to the latest Tech Nation Report, for the industry to continue to thrive, the sector will need to find another 700,000 people with digital tech skills in London by 2023. And that’s just London – the tech industry is thriving across the UK, with tech hubs in Bristol (where we have an office), Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh, so the need to encourage people to think about how a tech career might be a good fit for them is vital.

Our tech teams are focused on revolutionising the way people interact with food online – but working at Just Eat is more than just takeaway, it’s about giving back too. That’s why we want to encourage and inspire young people to progress further in STEM subjects to help nurture the next generation of talent.

We think working in technology is pretty amazing, and a lot of fun too.