The digital bank is getting in touch with its charitable side to do its part in UK’s North East.
Together, the two firms aim to equip over 500 young people in the North Eastern region of the UK with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills, as well as increase digital literacy.
The partnership was announced today by Anthony Thomson, Atom’s chairman, and the Prince’s Trust’s Clare Crabb, at Atom’s headquarters in County Durham. One of Atom’s more unusual board members, American rapper and entrepreneur Will.i.am, was also in attendance due to his prior experience in building successful STEM programmes through his I.am.angel foundation.
"Atom was founded in the North East, we're funded in the North East, and we have 300 people, most of whom are from the North East. We're passionate about what we can contribute to our local society. We'll be working with the Prince's Trust over the next four years to try to tackle youth unemployment in the community," said Thomson.
Besides the North East being a geographical focal point for Atom, the region also has one of the highest levels of youth unemployment in the UK, with 14.6% of young people currently not in work. Similarly, data from the Prince’s Trust shows that 48% of young people in the North East don’t feel sufficiently prepared to enter the workforce, giving deeper context to the partnership.
By investing in STEM programmes and centres, the union seeks to address the critical skills gap for young people, thereby reducing the risk of disadvantaged young people becoming increasingly excluded from reaching a fulfilling career path.
Regarding the Prince's Trust, Crabb said: "We equip them with the skills, and the self-confidence and self-esteem to move into a positive outcome - whether that be through work, training or education. It's fair to say that over the last five years we've had a renewed focus on STEM, to futureproof young people and make them successful in the workplace."
"We are a digital bank - there's a good argument to say we're a digital business that just happens to have a banking license," Thomson added. "We're looking to develop an Atom-specific STEM programme over the next few years."