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PM’s UK Institute of Coding For England Only

Brian Baglow

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Institute of Coding: CodeClan

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Prime Minister Theresa May announced £20 Million in funding for a new UK Institute of Coding, similar to Scotland’s pioneering CodeClan.

While it was announced as a UK-wide initiative, a spokesman for the Department of Education confirmed to DIGIT that the new Institute of Coding will operate in England only.

The new academy will receive £20 million of funding from the UK government, with an additional £20 million in match funding expected from industry. The consortium behind the initiative is made up of 60 organisations, including 25 universities across England, let by the University of Bath.

Mrs May said the Institute is a key part of the government’s efforts to drive up digital skills through the government’s industrial strategy, will equip people of all ages with the skills they need.

Dr Rachid Hourizi, Director of the Institute of Coding, said:

“The strength of the Institute of Coding lies in the fact that it brings together educators, employers and outreach groups to co-develop digital skills education at undergraduate and masters level for learners in universities, at work and in previously under-supported groups across the country.

“In addition, we’ll work with our partners to target underrepresented talent through outreach activities, tailored and inclusive curricula, flexible delivery and removal of barriers to working in the industry.

Digital Skills Academy

The institute’s focus on digital skills, working closely with industry, diversity, widening participation and adult retraining may sound familiar to DIGIT readers as they are very are similar to the work carried out by Scotland’s first accredited digital skills academy CodeClan.

Founded in 2015, as a key part of the Scottish Government’s Digital Strategy for Scotland, CodeClan celebrated its 300th graduate in December 2017 227 of whom have now found employment in the Digital tech sector.

Boasting a 93% employment rate for graduates within six months of completing their course, employers such as FreeAgent, Money Dashboard, Wallet.Services and Prudential all taking on CodeClan Alumni.

CodeClan’s success and growing industry demand mean that the academy is expanding the number of students, across its campuses in Edinburgh and Glasgow, introducing new courses in 2018.

Polly Purvis, the chair of CodeClan, told DIGIT:

“It’s great to see this announcement. The whole of the UK is a hotbed for digital innovation and in Scotland a new range of apprenticeships, new MSc’s in data science and cyber and the establishment of CodeClan is adding to the supply of skills needed. However more  needs to be done and the ambition to skill up 100,000 in data skills incorporated in the Edinburgh City Deal is a great step in the right direction.”

John Swinney, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, said:

“Digital skills are playing an increasingly important role in almost all business sectors. Being able to provide a technologically savvy workforce will be crucial for Scotland in the years ahead and CodeClan is playing an influential role in helping us to achieve this.”

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Brian Baglow

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