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AJ Bell named as inaugural hiring partner for Tech Returners’ new TR4: 4-Week Returner Launchpad programme

AJ Bell – the low cost, award-winning investment platform – has been named as the very first hiring partner for Tech Returners’ new TR4: 4-Week Returner Launchpad programme that connects progressive businesses with individuals returning to tech after a career break.

TR4 is a dynamic way for organisations to responsibly secure four experienced tech candidates within four weeks who will be ready to seamlessly integrate into their team and make an impact from day one.

TR4 will be delivered online and has been in development for months. Its carefully curated format provides bespoke mentoring for Returners - defined as people who were software engineers, but took a career break for any reason and want to return to the industry. The online mentoring will reinvigorate their technical knowledge as well as confidence, giving them the ability to reframe their career break whilst at the same time helping businesses to hire diverse talent in a cost-effective and streamlined way.

The programme, which starts in May, will consist of four weeks’ carefully tailored mentoring and coaching in C# (tech stack) as well as tailored career and mindset guidance. It will be led by James Heggs, co-founder of Tech Returners; and Mili Velikova, career and mindset lead.

AJ Bell will work with Tech Returners before the programme starts to identify four applicants who reflect their company culture and meet their specific tech stack requirements. Once selected, the four Returners are then set to restart their careers with AJ Bell.

Each successful Returner applicant will receive a bursary of £2,000 to help with their living costs. This is an integral part of the programme as it will give people from diverse and socio-economic backgrounds the chance to restart their careers, and it will also help to make the tech sector a more inclusive space.

Once the programme is complete, Tech Returners will - in conjunction with AJ Bell - record the impact of the Returners and will draft a White Paper around best practice learnings, inclusivity and diverse hiring.

Recent research undertaken by Tech Returners showed that 53% of women are Returners, of which 97% are in the same company six months later and £23,864 is the average salary change post-programme.

“At AJ Bell, we were facing a surge in demand for tech talent," explains Chris Everett, Operational and Regulatory Tech Manager at AJ Bell. 

"While traditional recruitment efforts were crucial, we recognised the value of experienced professionals. The TR4 Tech Returner programme provides access to a pool of individuals not only possessing technical expertise but also diverse life experiences and perspectives that will enrich our teams. It's not just about filling roles; it's about empowering individuals to re-enter the workforce and fostering a truly inclusive and diverse tech environment.

James Heggs said: “We are delighted that AJ Bell is our very first TR4 hiring partner. As a business, it is committed to diversity and shares many values with us. Over the past 12 months, we have seen a very real transformation in the tech landscape that has impacted the predictability and scale of tech hires. Despite these changes, the demand for diverse, experienced tech talent has persisted. TR4 was born out of that situation and we are confident it will help businesses quickly access this hidden pool of skilled, versatile software engineers from diverse backgrounds which can only be a good thing.”


Returners who would like further information or apply for TR4 can visit here.

Businesses that are interested in becoming a hiring partner can find more information here.

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