News & Highlights

VMware Kickstart: making the tech world more equitable and accessible

Introducing VMware Kickstart – a programme in Ireland that’s opening up the tech world. Think of this as your one-stop-shop, with all the insight you need to understand what the programme is about and how it can help anyone relaunch their career – all while welcoming them to life at VMware.

Let’s get stuck in…

What exactly is the Kickstart programme?

It all started at a queue at the job centre. John Dolan, former VP of Global Support saw the queue and wondered if there was a better way to help people secure not only jobs, but fulfilling careers. In 2010, in the height of the global recession, the VMware Kickstart programme was launched – and success has followed ever since.

With its background routed in supporting people to develop life and career-changing tech skills, the programme’s open to everyone, from all backgrounds. This is helping more diverse people begin their tech careers – and it has now run 17 times with over 400 alumni. The course covers core technical subjects including LINUX, Networking, Windows, Storage and Virtualisation.

Our partnerships are key to our success at VMware. Our collaboration with Technology Ireland – Digital Skillnet enables us to deliver a first-class programme to train the Technical Support Engineers of tomorrow.

What happens once the programme is over?

Well, after a whirlwind 12 weeks of intense technical training, all candidates join our business, with the latest group joining us on May 2nd, for four weeks of fast-track new hire training, before jumping into 12 weeks of work experience.

Once this group completes the course, we’re proud to say an incredible 402 people will have graduated from our Kickstarter programme. All our graduates have been offered a permanent job, with a 92% retention rate of full time employees.

What support is offered?

For one, every participant is assigned a mentor to guide them along the way. Soft skills training is a critical component and ensures everyone has the confidence, resilience, communication, and collaboration skills to succeed in the tech world.

From chefs to stay-at-home parents, each individual we’ve seen join us over the years has experienced total immersion in our work, culture and values. But the programme has seen such success because of our people who have made it possible. Whether it’s sharing their technical knowledge or giving their support, our team are there to offer whatever the cohort needs to make the most of the programme. And they make sure each individual feels part of our award-winning workforce from day one.

Plus, there’s a sense of community and collegiality within the programme too. By sharing their learnings and coming together as a team to make sure everyone crosses the programme’s finish line, the participants are there for each other at every step.

What does the future of Kickstarter look like?

With the success we’ve seen, the programme will only continue growing, and it’s being replicated across multiple businesses to bring more talent into the tech space. The initiative has even been reworked into a work experience programme for those that want to explore a different career or who don’t see college as their next step.

No matter how the programme develops in the years to come, one thing’s for sure, kindness and community will always be at its core.

Interested in learning more about what it means to become part of the VMware community? Click here to explore our values.


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