Santander to offer hundreds of coding scholarships in Brazil

The bank is accelerating its plan to boost its tech workforce and address the local skills gap

Spanish bank Santander is funding a project to produce hundreds of new developers in Brazil and address the local shortage of technology expertise.

The bank has partnered with latin coding school Digital House to deliver the program, which will offer 240 full scholarships for the five-month full stack development course and will commence in January 2020 at the school, in São Paulo.

To get a place in the program, dubbed Santander Coders by Digital House, candidates will have to go through online tests, which will evolve into a month-long digital course which will establish and evaluate competencies needed for the actual in-person training.

The results of the first phase will inform the decision making process of the companies and select the candidates that will take part in the course, which will include mentoring and identification of individual profiles considering their technical and soft skills.

Candidates will also be part of a "fast track" list maintained by Santander and could be invited for recruitment processes by the bank. However, there are no employment guarantees.

Santander's coding scholarship program follows the bank's announcement of a large recruitment exercise earlier in 2019 to significantly boost its own IT workforce in Brazil with Java developers, Android and iOS developers, artificial intelligence engineers, data engineers and other functions.

The plan is part of a $2 billion investment plan to drive digital transformation across the Spanish bank's operations globally. Brazil represents 30 percent of that budget, according to the company.

A survey suggested that most in-demand skills in Brazil are digital marketing analyst, data scientist, customer experience specialist as well as UX/UI designer and data analyst. In addition to technical competencies, firms also want people to be "innovative, easily adaptable and focused on continued learning."

However, only 29 percent of these companies offer digital training, be it in terms of internal training or incentives for employees to seek training elsewhere.