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Northcoders acquires Tech Returners in £1.5m deal

The merging Northcoders/Tech Returners top team

Northcoders has acquired Tech Returners in a cash and shares deal worth a total £1.5m.

The deal is expected to complete tomorrow, Wednesday February 8, and will create a 120-strong business.

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

Tech Returners was established in 2016 in Manchester and specialises in training and placing mid-to-senior-level professionals looking to re-enter the workplace after a career break in the technology sector. The business uses its industry leading knowledge and techniques to refresh and up-skill corporate-sponsored individuals or existing corporate teams for large businesses across a number of industries.

Across the Tech Returners brand, the team delivers programmes focused 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.

Following the acquisition, Northcoders will not only benefit from entry into Tech Returners’ specialised field of re-training, but the team of 16 at Tech Returners will support the company in building a significant presence in key locations such as London.

There is also a shared cultural focus between the two firms – especially around diversity in the technology sector, with over 60 per cent of returners being women and a shared track record of training ex-services personnel, refugees and supporting international disposition.

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

Heggs will also continue to run the DevOps Manchester meetup, and has been instrumental in helping to set up the new Northcoders DevOps course which launches in March.

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

Taylor added: “James and I have respected and collaborated with Northcoders in the past, so we know the fit is right. 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.”

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