Looking for new and diverse IT talent

For many organizations with a shortage of IT people, diversity and inclusion are challenging and at the same time promising themes. During the first TOMAS matchmaking event, these companies come into contact with initiatives that can help them with this. Together they strengthen the talent ecosystem in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.

Companies looking for new tech and IT talent can also find initiatives on the TOMAS site that can help them with this. With a few clicks, you as a company will find an initiative that suits your specific needs. From career development in ICT for status holders, to financing options for lateral entrants in technology. Everyone on the website is presented with a suitable selection based on their own preferences. “Whether you’re looking for tech talent or interesting volunteer opportunities for your employees: at TOMAS we bring everything together,” explains Igneta Skliaustyte from StartupAmsterdam. Together with the Amsterdam Economic Board, the Municipality of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences/Digital Society School and the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, this organization is the initiator of TOMAS.

The website has been live for less than a year, but it already contains more than 141 talent development initiatives, including 65 initiatives in ICT. About fifteen of these programs focus on today’s theme: diversity and inclusion. For example, they offer training programs to people at a distance from the labor market. Five of these initiatives present themselves in a pitch today. Afterwards, the companies present can talk to them in the break-out rooms.

Five strong examples of initiatives

Hack your future

Hack your Future has already helped more than 200 people with a distance to the labor market to find a job in ICT, including a large group of refugees. For seven months, participants receive guidance from senior developers, among others. This process also places great demands on their independence. They learn Javascript, CSS, HTML, but their soft skills are also trained. At Hack your Future, only people who are really ready for the labor market graduate.

Companies that are looking for junior IT professionals and interns can contact the program. Hack your future is also looking for funding to help more people and volunteers who want to help guide the talents.

Code to Change

Code to Change wants to contribute to gender equality and therefore focuses on different groups of women and other underrepresented groups. In consultation with a company, Code to Change offers targeted bootcamps, for example in the field of machine learning, UX design and Javascript. The program works together with Marktplaats, Accenture, Booking and Uber, among others.

Code to Change likes to enter into strategic partnerships with companies, is looking for funding for programs, but also for guest lecturers and guest speakers and specific challenges that participants in the bootcamps and hackathons can work on.


TechGrounds trains IT talents from very diverse backgrounds. The program does not look at someone’s work experience, but at motivation and potential. Participants go through a program of four to six months, for example with a focus on web development, cloud, or Salesforce. TechGrounds is active in six cities and actively recruits in Amsterdam-West and Almere. TechGrounds likes to work with companies on a long-term basis, but companies that are directly looking for junior IT talent can also apply.

Deeplo AI

Deeplo AI trains highly skilled refugees and tries to match them with companies looking for IT talent. The startup creates so-called Virtual Experience Programs for these companies. In those programs, companies can show who they are and what working for this company looks like, and potential employees can show their skills in those programs. Companies can reach more than 30,000 students from more than 10 universities with their programs.


TechMeUp is a foundation that offers ICT talent interest-free loans. Talent development programs often reimburse training costs, but if someone follows a full-time program, he or she often has little or no other income. Participants in these programs can rely on TechMeUp to cover part of their living expenses, for example.

TechMeUp still has to reject 90 percent of the applicants. That is why companies can help the foundation with financing in the first place. The TechMeUp newsletter is also an interesting channel for recruiters and HR employees looking for IT talent: it lists everyone who has completed a program with the help of TechMeUp funding.

Looking for a match

During the break-out sessions, attendees can drop into the digital rooms of the initiatives to ask follow-up questions. And it is widely used. Whether Code to Change participants also learn Python and C++? That turns out to be the case. And how do they test the level of the participants? “There is no official exam, explains Iffat Rose Gill, but there is a test. “Everyone also has to deliver and present a project. That way we can estimate the level properly.”

In the room of Hack your future someone asks about the strict selection process and at TechGrounds Saskia Verstege can explain how her program differs from the others. “The group of people who do not normally fall under the ‘distance to the labor market’ group is larger than we think. And we reach that group too.”

More connection

On June 30, there will be a new opportunity to make the connection between business and talent development initiatives: TOMAS Connect LIVE, an event in Amsterdam.

Do you also want to contribute to talent development in the region and invest in local talent? Check out what you can do today on the TOMAS bulletin board (vraaghettomas.nl) or contact the TOMAS Team. Would you like to know more about what TOMAS can do for your company? Please contact Igneta Skliaustyte at info@vragenhettomas.nl.

Want to stay informed about new TOMAS events and new talent development initiatives? Follow TOMAS on LinkedIn and sign up for our newsletter via this link or via the site vraaghettomas.nl.

22 April 2022

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