A new initiative which aims to improve access to important skills in coding and data science has been unveiled by Kate Forbes MSP, minister for public finance and digital economy.
During a speech at the official launch event of Data Lab’s Aberdeen office, Forbes announced a range of new programmes that will see people of all ages given the opportunity to learn vital digital skills.
Women and schoolchildren, in particular, are expected to benefit from the new initiative, which is led by Code the City, a charity established in 2017 to promote the use of technology to solve civic problems.
Speaking at The Data Lab office launch, Forbes said: “It is an exciting time for the city of Aberdeen, as it continues to establish itself as one of the key technology centres in Scotland and the UK.
“I am thrilled to officially launch Code the City’s latest collaborative initiative, another fantastic example of some of the ground-breaking work underway in the city to encourage more people to get involved in technology and data science and support inclusive growth.”
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Using ONE Tech Hub in Aberdeen as its base, Code the City will deliver regular data meetups and hack events in partnership with ONE CodeBase. These events will bring together coders, designers, service users and the public to work collaboratively to create “innovative prototype solutions”.
Commenting on the initiative, Code the City CEO Ian Watt, said: “Coding and data science are specialties becoming increasingly sought after in the 21st century and, indeed, vital in supporting Scotland’s digital economy.
Giving more people access to these important skills is absolutely crucial, so we are therefore excited to launch our own collaborative programmes within ONE Tech Hub in Aberdeen, which will see a range of people regularly meet to learn about and practice coding and data science.
“I’m particularly pleased to see Code the City working with some of the industry’s key players, as together, we look to firmly establish Aberdeen on the map as a city at the very heart Scotland’s growing technology community.”
As well as working closely with ONE CodeBase, Code the City has partnered with The Data Lab and Oracle specialists, Inoapps, to offer two specialist programmes.
Young Coders and specific digital workshops for mothers looking to return to the workplace will offer the opportunity to learn important, up-to-date literacy skills that are crucial to supporting Scotland’s growing digital economy.
Jude McCorry, head of business development at The Data lab, said: “There is a real change in Aberdeen around digital technology, and there is a great collaborative, supportive community coming to the fore which we can thank organisations such as Code the City for encouraging.
“We are delighted to support the workshops supporting mums keen to expand their digital knowledge and skills. There is a huge, untapped resource out there in women who maybe don’t have the skills or confidence to get back into the workplace, or those who would like to reskill to try something different in their careers and ensure their skills are kept current to the ever-changing world of technology.”
McCorry added: “We encourage as many as possible to get involved, spread the word and also those already in the industry to come along and share their stories and experiences to ensure we build something brilliant here for women and children in Aberdeen.”