WhiteHat’s vision is to change the way young people from all backgrounds are able to access the best career by challenging the idea that university is the only path.
London start-up WhiteHat, which is focused on the apprenticeship space, has raised $4m in a seed funding round.
The round was led by Silicon Valley investor Lightspeed Ventures with participation from Shoptalk and Money2020 founder Anil Aggarwal, Village Global, and British tech entrepreneur Wendy Tan White.
‘Every developed economy is facing a skills shortage, compounded by universities not adapting to the changing nature of the labour market’
– EUAN BLAIR
Founded by Euan Blair and ex-UK MD of Hired, Sophie Alderman, in 2016, WhiteHat already works with 150 major employers, including Google, Facebook, Warner Brothers, Burberry and BP. It recruits and trains apprentices, providing nationally recognised qualifications and excellent long-term career prospects.
Debunking the notion that university is the only path to a rewarding career, WhiteHat matches ambitious non-graduate talent with high-quality apprenticeships across a wide range of sectors. These include tech, professional services, finance and retail.
It delivers top-class applied learning in partnership with General Assembly, Flatiron School and other leading content providers.
There is a huge market opportunity in apprenticeships in the UK at the moment, driven by the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017. Under this measure, every single employer with offices in the UK and a payroll of £3m a year or more needs to spend 0.5pc on apprenticeship training or forfeit the money as a tax.
WhiteHat provides an effective way to deploy its levy funds by developing a diverse pipeline of talented individuals who will become the future leaders in their organisations.
“We’re changing the way young people from all backgrounds are able to access the best careers, and are partnering with Lightspeed to scale this global vision for the future of work,” said Blair.
“Every developed economy is facing a skills shortage, compounded by universities not adapting to the changing nature of the labour market, and, with dramatically rising university costs, students are increasingly looking for alternatives.
“Finally, nearly every major company in the tech, creative and professional services space is trying to figure out how to introduce more diversity into their organisations. The solution needs to combine top-class applied learning, linked to specific roles, with a job at a great employer that doesn’t cost the user huge amounts of money – that’s what we’re providing at WhiteHat,” Blair said.