A new initiative from coding school Code Nation is to give 500 out-of-work benefit claimants the opportunity to kick-start a career in tech this year.
The coding school, which recently unveiled its new headquarters in Manchester, has announced support from the Adult Education Board to provide fully-funded coding and cyber security courses to those currently claiming benefits.
This follows figures from the Office for National Statistics that reveal around 2.4 per cent of the nation’s workforce, aged 16-64, are currently claiming out-of-work benefits, with the North East the worst hit at 4 per cent followed by the North West and West Midlands at 3.1 per cent.
Andy Lord, CEO, Code Nation said: “Through no fault of their own, too many of the UK’s eligible workers are unemployed and unprepared for the current needs of businesses. The nation is on the brink of a severe digital skills shortage, with more than one million digital professionals needed across a wide range of sectors.
“This initiative aims to enable those surviving on benefits to pave a new future for themselves, through a well-paid career in software development. We’ve reached a point where virtually every company needs software development, but there just aren’t enough skilled professionals to cater to that demand.
“The launch of our two new courses will provide an opportunity for up to 500 candidates to take advantage of the AEB funding to learn a skill that businesses are desperate to acquire.”
The new courses, Develop: Coding and Develop: Cyber, involve three-weeks of intensive bootcamp-style training for which participants will receive a qualification at the end, equivalent to a GCSE. Graduates will also have opportunities to further their training to help secure apprenticeships and go on to be job ready junior software developers.
The Develop: Cyber course will enable trainees to get to grips with the most commonly used cyber threats, along with the networking principles required to legally protect businesses from cyber attacks.
Code Nation currently has schools in Manchester and Chester, with the aim of going nationwide in the next 12 months. The school’s unique approach to learning refers to applicants as junior developers, rather than students, and teaches not only the coding skills employers require, but also ‘soft skills’ like teamwork, communication, workload management, problem solving and leadership, in order to prepare them for work in the sector.