Greg Hands, MP for Chelsea & Fulham, has launched The Chelsea App Academy, a new recruitment scheme that aims to find the “UK’s brightest young tech stars”, and give them their first opportunity in the mobile technology industry.

The Chelsea App Academy will be run by tech firm Chelsea Apps Factory, which wants to reduce the mobile skills gap that the industry is facing. The company has partnered with five UK tech-focused higher education establishments – Glasgow University, Ulster University, Queens University in Belfast, Kingston University in London and Brunel University – to “uncover, support and nurture the hottest new tech industry talent”.

The Chelsea App Factory wants to reduce the mobile skills gap. Image credit: Chelsea App Factory

Chelsea Apps Factory, which is located in Hands' constituency, says it is also welcoming applications from people who “show experience and excellence in tech” but who have not entered higher education.

A total of twelve individuals will be selected for their ability and potential, following a series of aptitude and awareness tests. The successful candidates will then receive a year-long placement in the company’s London, Edinburgh or Belfast Tech Hubs. At the end of the 12-month programme, assuming the candidates have hit their key targets, they will be hired permanently by the firm.

Hands, a Conservative MP and deputy chief whip for the coalition government, said: “Giving young people their first experience in the workplace is an essential part in delivering a healthy and stable economy.

“I’m especially pleased that with this new scheme the Chelsea Apps Factory team will be helping not only our bright young graduates get on the career ladder, but that they will also be encouraging people without a higher-education qualification to apply.”

Mike Anderson, CEO of Chelsea Apps Factory, said: “The UK is a hotbed of technological talent. We easily match Israel, the US and our European neighbours in terms of ability, ingenuity and inspiration.

“However, mobile software development is an area that is lacking in skills – mainly because the industry is so new. The market is barely five years old.”

He said: “Many people coming out of university are set up for a PC - not a mobile – world. We want to help people adapt their skills so we get the best out of the talent out there.”

Chelsea Apps Factory – which currently employs 70 people across its London and Edinburgh offices – counts Ladbrokes, KPMG and Waitrose among its clients.

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