CodeClan chief urges adaptable digital learning as coding academy celebrates fourth year

CodeClan instructors at the digital academys Edinburgh campus. Picture: Stewart Attwood
CodeClan instructors at the digital academys Edinburgh campus. Picture: Stewart Attwood
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Digital academy CodeClan is celebrating its fourth anniversary as it aims to bridge Scotland’s technology skills gap.

More than 800 people have graduated from the coding school’s software development and data analytics programmes, the majority of whom have been placed in technical roles with more than 250 employer partners.

Melinda Matthews Clarkson, chief executive of CodeClan, is encouraging Scottish companies and workers to be flexible when it comes to learning tech skills. Picture: Stewart Attwood

Melinda Matthews Clarkson, chief executive of CodeClan, is encouraging Scottish companies and workers to be flexible when it comes to learning tech skills. Picture: Stewart Attwood

CodeClan, which was launched with backing from the Scottish Government in 2015, partners with a range of organisations from large corporates and major financial institutions to government departments, start-ups and charities.

These include the likes of STV, Tesco Bank, iZettle and RBS-owned FreeAgent.

The not-for-profit academy now has campuses in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness, with the latter launched earlier this year.

It also created a “full-stack” web development course specifically for its Highlands academy and tailored to businesses in the region.

The anniversary celebrations come as CodeClan chief Melinda Matthews Clarkson, a former vice president at IBM, highlights the need for Scotland’s business and workforce to adapt to upcoming digital challenges.

READ MORE: CodeClan’s role in shaping the digital landscape - Melinda Matthews Clarkson
She said: “How successfully we advance digital skills will be key to how Scotland competes and prospers in the 21st century.

“Our links to Scottish industry through our employer network – commercial and public sector organisations who hire our talented graduates – are crucial not only to our own success but, more importantly, to the future success of Scotland’s economy.

“Commentators agree that we don’t know what more than 50 per cent of our jobs will look like in the future, such is the pace of technological change. This means we need to be ready to adapt to tech trends in areas like data science and machine learning.”

'Future-proof' Scotland's workforce

CodeClan courses include a professional software development (PSD) programme, which trains people from all backgrounds in software development over a four-month spell, and a recently launched data analytics course which offers immersive training to assist transition to data-focused careers.

The PSD course won Best Training Programme at the Digital Technology Awards in 2017 and 2018.

CodeClan has also expanded its offering to feature a growing range of short and bespoke courses, which enable companies to “future-proof” their workforce with in-demand digital skills.

Operating highlights from the current year include forming a strategic partnership with tech recruitment specialist Eden Scott, which has offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, to support a career pipeline for CodeClan graduates after 18 months in a job.

The academy has also grown its Client Xperience programme, giving students the opportunity to work on projects with real third-sector clients and deliver a benefit to charities, students and instructors.

Matthews Clarkson added: “Soft skills are also essential, regardless of how technical a role. The pace of change in organisations today demands skills and attributes like communication, ability to learn, flexibility and a growth mindset.

“We put considerable effort into instilling these in our students from day one."

Digital minister Kate Forbes said: “As Scotland’s digital economy has grown, so too has the demand for digital skills. CodeClan has helped people reskill, retrain and future-proof their careers and its success is a great achievement.”

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