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AO forges partnership with Tech Returners to grow its digital team


Bolton-headquartered AO has coupled up with Tech Returners to welcome skilled employees to their tech department through the sponsorship of their seventh cohort.

Tech Returners, a Manchester-based organisation, provides accessible opportunities for those returning to work to refresh their skills, removing the barriers people face after career breaks.

It offers an eight-week ‘Return To Tech’ programme providing a free and accessible route back into businesses, the seventh cohort of which was sponsored by AO. Following the scheme, four successfully applied for a mid-level role at AO.

Scheme participants were given the chance to work on live briefs from AO on the course, and those who moved into a role at the retailer include software developers Daniel Irani and Shraddha Kapse. Irani was formerly a commodity futures trader for eight years who returned to tech, while Kapse returned to the space following the pandemic.

Carl Phillips, Director of Group IT at, said: “We were really impressed with everyone on the programme and all of our new AO’ers have the passion and drive to settle in seamlessly on our tech team. At AO, we’re really pleased to partner with Tech Returners to remove the barriers returners often face in the industry – and get some fantastic talent on board!”

Commenting on the opportunity, Lakshmi Vudathu, Data Engineer at AO, said: “I moved to the UK after spending over six years as a data engineer in India. I’ve been with AO for a month now after completing the Tech Returners programme – it’s my first job since moving to the UK and the opportunity has been invaluable.”

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