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National Coding Week: hacking the skills gap

5 days ago by Andrew Jones

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Monday 13th September marks the start of #NationalCodingWeek. We take a look at why events like these are essential for creating a sustainable, diverse digital workforce and our team share their thoughts on the importance of promoting the options of digital careers at a young age.

National Coding Week is an annual event that aims to help both children and adults with learning digital coding skills. The week is run by volunteers with digital skills events in schools, libraries and businesses. It was founded after Tech entrepreneur, Jordan Love and former headteacher, Richard Rolfe was inspired by their experience of training a group of unemployed people in coding skills, which then help many of them secure employment.

Building and developing digital skills within the current workforce is key as the pandemic continues to accelerate the pace of digital transformation.“Programming is the literacy of our generation. With digital products and services that dominate the modern world all being underpinned by code, it’s no wonder that of the 10 most in-demand skills in LinkedIn job adverts, the top seven are programming languages,” said Ian Rawlings, regional vice-president at SumTotal Systems.

“Despite increased demand, currently, less than half of UK employers believe new entrants to the workforce have the digital skills required. This needs to change if the UK is to plug the existing skills gap and become a leader in technology.”

Director, Adrian Prodger gave an insight into how children can benefit from this year’s National Coding Week:

“This is a great initiative that gives school children an early taste of what a career as a software engineer entails. It provides them with an insight into the skills and attributes that are required. While there is a serious skills shortage in the software engineering sector it’s important to put a career in coding on children’s radar at an early stage, so they are aware of alternatives to the “mainstream” career options.”

Recruitment Consultant, Liam Scott also praised the importance of the week:

“It is a great opportunity for the younger generation to be aware of the importance of coding and also understand what coding is at such a young age, give them the chance to not only understand it but learn it too. Given it is such a candidate short market and a skillset in such high demand it is as important as ever to promote this as best we possibly can to attract up and coming talent into the market. It will only benefit the industry in the future.”

Account Manager, Jen Rostron shared how coding can be fun for children of all ages too:

“My son loves to code! He enjoys using ScratchJR, as he is obsessed with his ‘Nintendo Switch’ and anything digital, he really enjoys making his own stories and games and ScratchJR is a great platform for this and he is always really engaged and has fun with it! (https://www.scratchjr.org/). I believe coding is important for the younger generation as we moving to a more digital working environment, this is something that was never around when I was in school and it's great to see children of all ages getting involved! Watch this space for the new generation of little coders!”

Coding can lead to many exciting roles such as gaming, data scientists, lead architects and more! For more information on the benefits of coding and the week in general, click on the link below!

https://codingweek.org/