CodeClan partners with Edinburgh investment firm to launch youth programming academy

CodeClan, the Scottish digital skills academy, has partnered with an Edinburgh investment firm to launch a youth academy based in the city.

The venture has joined forces with Baillie Gifford to launch the eight-week programme, based in Edinburgh and sponsored by the investment manager, that encompasses a four-week coding bootcamp at CodeClan, followed by a four-week paid internship at one of CodeClan’s industry partners.

CodeClan Youth Academy (CCYA) will be aimed at young people aged 17 and over, promising them the kind of programming skills required in an industry environment. With ten spaces available in the first cohort, the academy starts on July 4, and CodeClan says students completing the course will be able to carry out tasks equivalent to the role of a junior front-end developer.

The bootcamp section at CodeClan will include training in HTML and CSS, presentation skills, JavaScript, NodeJS, and introductions to user experience (UX) and Angular. This will be followed by what the partnership terms as “real-world experience of how a technology-driven business operates in a workplace setting”.

CodeClan, Scotland’s national skills academy, is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2015 with a mission to bridge the digital skills gap and develop a new generation of digital professionals in Scotland. Picture: Stewart Attwood

Yvonne Robertson, chief of information systems staff at Baillie Gifford, said: “We believe it's crucial that we all play a part in developing our young workforce and addressing the current digital skills gap by providing insight into the range of career opportunities within the technology sector.

“As an industry and a business community, we can collectively share our vast experience and knowledge to help guide young people to positive outcomes beyond school, such as apprenticeships or further education in tech. Baillie Gifford is excited to support CodeClan's new Youth Academy Programme in pursuit of these clear aims,” she added.

Melinda Matthews-Clarkson, chief executive of CodeClan, said: “We have a broad tech landscape in Scotland, from agriculture to creative industries and space tech, but we don’t have enough people to meet the growing needs of our economy. It is time to rally the younger generation to build the skills we need to make our world a better place.”

Almost two-thirds of organisations in Scotland are said to be struggling to find people with business-critical digital skills and, in particular, there is a shortage of specialist entry-level talent. Recent research also revealed that less than 10,000 pupils studied computer science at Scotland’s schools in 2021.

Matthews-Clarkson added: “This is the second programme we have launched this year aimed at young people, to provide them with the skills and confidence to move into tech jobs. It is a big focus for CodeClan, and if we don’t address the current skills shortage we will have a big problem in the future.”

Last month CodeClan agreed a partnership deal to deliver an education programme aimed at getting more young people into tech jobs.

The venture teamed up with Tigers, the Glasgow-based apprenticeship education provider, to provide the eight-week programme, aimed at 16-24 year-olds.

Participants will work on their computer programming skills and personal development, underpinned by a “wellbeing programme”, enabling young people to secure modern apprenticeships in IT and software development on completion.

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New CodeClan partnership aims to get more young people into tech jobs

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