Sparta Global Teams Up with NatWest to Cultivate Diverse Tech Leaders for the Future


As we’ve outlined in this report, ensuring workplace wellbeing is embedded as business as usual requires a golden thread running through every policy, process, and step of the employee’s experience – from recruitment to training and development, right through to exit. When executed effectively, employers have the opportunity to cultivate an inclusive work environment where individuals feel supported and valued, leading to heightened engagement and decreased turnover rates.

As an example of this, it’s encouraging to see innovative skills organisation Sparta Global partnering with Natwest to champion diversity and cultivate emerging talent in the tech sector.

The collaboration with diversity at its heart

Sparta Global, the UK’s first B-Crop Hire, Train, Deploy (HTD) company, has joined forces with NatWest to bolster technology talent from diverse backgrounds. This collaboration aims to support the continued growth of NatWest’s One Bank Mortgages (OBM) platform, responsible for delivering quality, compliant, and inclusive mortgage services. Recognising the importance of diverse talent in driving innovation and success, OBM has spearheaded a transformative approach to hiring and developing early-career talent across crucial functions within NatWest.

The significance of a B-Corp

As a B-Corp, Sparta Global is legally bound to prioritise social and environmental impact alongside financial gains. This designation underscores the company’s dedication to operating ethically and sustainably, setting a higher standard for corporate responsibility within the tech industry. By adhering to rigorous standards set by B Lab, Sparta Global demonstrates its transparency, accountability, and genuine commitment to making a positive difference in society.

Profiled on their website, Purnima Sen, Sparta Global’s Chief People and Compliance Officer, says; “We believe traditional talent attraction excludes much of the UK’s highest potential people. This is why Sparta Global is bridging the digital skills gap by hiring, training, and developing passionate people from largely underrepresented communities. By removing barriers to entry for those non-STEM backgrounds and minority groups, we are building a pipeline of future leaders who have diverse thoughts and perspectives that will add significant value to our client partners.”

Cultivating employee health and wellbeing

The growing intersection between Diversity, Equity, and Inclusions (DE&I) and employee health and wellbeing is increasingly recognised as pivotal in creating thriving workplaces. At Sparta Global, they are dedicated to fostering equal opportunities in technology by championing DE&I through their dedicated Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) function and client advisory service.This approach not only enriches their workforce with a variety of perspectives and experiences but also contributes to the overall wellbeing of employees.

Recognising that a sense of belonging and acceptance are integral to health, aiming to create an environment where everyone feels valued, supported, and empowered to succeed. Through these efforts, they not only drive a positive social impact but also foster a culture of wellbeing and inclusivity that enhances the overall quality of life for their team members.

Case-study results

Sparta Global CEO, David Rai, says; “The financial services industry is undergoing major digital transformation to improve operations and keep up with customer expectations. As a skills shortage prevails, tapping into underrepresented groups who offer diverse skills and opinions will only promote the innovation needed.”

Through Sparta Global’s HTD model, OBM engages with a diverse and passionate emerging talent community, nurturing the next generation of digital leaders. Spartans, after completing paid training programmes in Java Development, Test Automation, and DevOps, seamlessly integrate into NatWest’s workforce, equipped with the skills to adapt, learn quickly, and collaborate effectively.

In January 2022, NatWest’s OBM team welcomed 12 “Spartan” consultants with expertise in Software Engineering, Test Automation, and DevOps. Among them were women, first-generation university attendees, and individuals from minority backgrounds, and were selected based on attitude, aptitude, and potential. The success of this partnership is evident as 11 of the Spartans, transitioned into full-time roles at NatWest, demonstrating their capability and commitment to personal and professional growth.

By providing opportunities for hands-on learning, upskilling, and career development, the OBM team has empowered Spartans to thrive and make meaningful contributions to NatWest’s initiatives.

“We tried something new in One Bank Mortgages and wow, has it worked. Many times we’ve seen teams bring in early career talent and fall into the trap of constraining their ability to shine. We decided that if we hired great people, who just happened to have shorter CVs than others, then we should find a way to create a space for them to demonstrate what they could do but also to learn and grow,” says Gary Johnson, Head of Transformation OBM, NatWest Group. 

In today’s evolving landscape, attracting and retaining early-career talent requires a nuanced understanding of their attributes and values. NatWest and the OBM team’s collaborative efforts underscore their commitment to fostering an environment where emerging talent can thrive, innovate, and drive organisational excellence.

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Gary continues; “Everyone had an opportunity to succeed, to fail, and to learn. Some have discovered a passion for parts of the job they didn’t know about, while others have simply been able to do what they always wanted. All have excelled. The result is that our One Bank Broker Portal now supports the placing of Coutts’ specialist mortgages business. This is a significant enhancement to the portal and delivers real value for our customers.”

David Rai adds; “Successfully hiring today’s generation of early career talent requires an understanding of their attributes, an empathy for their diverse values, and a management style that engages their interests and preferences. NatWest and the OBM team understand this ethos and together have created an exceptional environment for emerging talent to thrive and contribute to future organisational success”.

Additional information:

Click to view NatWest and Sparta Global case study video. 

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