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

CodeClan, the Scottish digital skills academy, has agreed a partnership deal to deliver an education programme aimed at getting more young people into tech jobs.

The venture has 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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The number of school students in Scotland studying computer science is at an all-time low, with the latest statistics revealing that 9,873 pupils took the subject in 2020, with girls totalling just 1,895.

The CodeClan-Tigers partnership aims to get more young people into tech jobs. Picture: Stewart Attwood

The collaboration between CodeClan and Tigers aims to bridge the digital skills gap by supporting more young people around essential coding skills including HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

In order to make the programme as inclusive as possible, there are no significant entry requirements to the course although eligibility criteria dictate that applicants are not currently in education or employment.

The programme, which is aimed at young people in Glasgow, is being funded through the Employability Fund managed by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) on behalf of the Scottish Government.

CodeClan chief executive Melinda Matthews-Clarkson said: “Historically, CodeClan has worked to bridge Scotland’s digitals skills gap by re-skilling career changers, and we’re excited to expand our reach and work with young people in collaboration with Tigers, to equip them with the skills needed to work in Scotland’s fast-growing technology sector.

“We know it’s a critical time for our digital economy, there has been a lot of collective talk but now we need to execute. It’s so important, because it’s about equipping the future workforce and developing a competitive future economy in Scotland. If we don’t act now, we do so at our own peril.”

Jeremy Miles, director of operations at Tigers, said: “This is a really exciting collaboration for Tigers as we look to build on our success with supporting young people into tech roles through modern apprenticeships by working with an exceptional training provider. We are also very keen to work closely with CodeClan to tackle the gender imbalance that exists in the tech sector.

“We believe our whole person approach to education, combining the wellbeing of our learners with a vocational, employer-led focus steeped in innovative practice will really complement the CodeClan approach.

“We are deeply aligned in our desire to support young people into sustainable employment and look forward to seeing where we can go together,” he added.

CodeClan is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2015 that has supported more than 2,000 people in gaining skills to transform their careers, working with more than 320 industry partners across Scotland’s commercial and public sectors.

The academy has run 54 cohorts in Edinburgh, 28 in Glasgow and three in Inverness. Candidates can choose to attend courses on campus, virtually or in a hybrid manner.

Over the last 12 months, the academy has also strengthened its leadership team with a number of key appointments.

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