CodeClan hopes more employers will link with digital academy

Harvey Wheaton, CodeClan CEO. Picture: Jane Barlow
Harvey Wheaton, CodeClan CEO. Picture: Jane Barlow
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The 12th intake of students at the UK’s first fully accredited digital skills academy began their intensive four month programme of training last week to turn them into fully-fledged software engineers.

There’s been no shortage of applicants at CodeClan in Edinburgh - especially among those aged 25-30 who are keen to switch careers. Now the Scottish Government-backed academy, which opened in October 2015, is reaching out to employers seeking software talent and encouraging more businesses to join its employer partner community.

“There’s a UK-wide shortage of skilled software engineers and digital

skills in general,” said CodeClan CEO Harvey Wheaton. “This is a model that’s been around major cities such as London and in the US for quite a while - immersive, boot camp-style training to try and offer a more immediate way of filling that gap.

“We take people who are career-changers. They’re typically aged 25-30, have reached a point in their career where it’s not really working for them, they come to us, do a 16 week programme and basically retrain as software developers. Our major success is getting them into vacancies. We’re providing an alternative route into the industry to address the skills shortage.”

READ MORE: {CodeClan eyes Glasgow expansion as digital demand soars|}

With fierce competition in the industry to find skilled candidates, CodeClan will host a breakfast drop-in event on April 26 so employers can learn more about the skills and courses taught at the academy, as well as showcasing the calibre and dedication of CodeClan students.

Wheaton said becoming an employer partner would give firms access to “committed, passionate and skilled people” that will enhance their business or organisation.

With over 100 employer partners already signed up, including Skyscanner, FreeAgent, Adobe, Make it Social and RBS, there was an “opportunity for employers to snap up talent straight from the source”.

A recent survey released by industry trade body, ScotlandIS, found 73 per cent of businesses will seek to hire digital talent locally this year, an increase of 15 per cent on last year’s figures. Software and web development remain the most in demand skills, with 80 per cent of businesses looking to hire new talent this year, up from 60 per cent in 2016.

Wheaton added: “There is increasing focus on seeking out local talent, and CodeClan is at the forefront of producing highly skilled, job-ready digital professionals.

“With 12,800 job opportunities being created each year in Scotland’s fast-moving digital sector, and increasingly tight supply, employers are looking for new channels to secure the talent they need. Becoming

an employer partner with CodeClan means we can support employers and help them access talented people at an early stage, making the hiring process easier.”

CodeClan curriculum is aimed at supporting the digital sector with the skills needed to develop new and existing talent. Employer partners can even engage and shape the curriculum to suit their individual business needs.

The academy hopes to encourage more employers to join its community by offering them a shortlist prospective candidates through browsing profiles, speed networking sessions or face-to-face meetings. It also offers dedicated hiring support and discounts on training courses for up-skilling existing employees.

READ MORE: CodeClan set to train 250 software gurus in 2017