National Coding Week launches in the UK

Another great coding initiative from the UK: the first ever National Coding Week for Adults launches this September in a bid to tackle the UK’s growing digital skills shortage. From 21-28 September 2014 people within the digital industry are being urged to share their expertise with adults in their communities by organising events and training sessions.

National Coding Week is set to become an annual event and aims to get as many adults as possible to learn the basics of coding. It is supported by leading industry organisations including Codecademy, Decoded, FiretechCamp, and Women who Code (UK).

The digital industry is set to become the most employable sector in Britain yet it faces a skills gap when it comes to the appropriate expertise. It has been estimated that in the next two years an additional 745,000 workers with digital skills will be required, but the EU also estimates that by 2020 there will be up to 1.3 million jobs unfilled due to the lack of relevant skills.

The key aims of National Coding Week are to:

  1. encourage adults of any age to learn an element of computer coding
  2. encourage digital experts to share their skills
  3. collaborate, share, learn and have fun!

Various events will be held throughout the week in major cities such as London, Bristol, Brighton, Manchester and Belfast, as well as the more remote locations including Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. Organisers are calling on Government and the UK tech community to back the campaign and show their support via #NationalCodingWeek. People can visit www.nationalcodingweek.com for help with organising their own events and more information on the week.

Events will fall under various categories including: Reverse Mentoring, Online Training, Face to Face Training, and Sharing Expertise / Skills. It is hoped that the range of ways to engage with the event will allow everyone, no matter how immobile or remotely based, to get involved and improve their understanding of code.

National Coding Week is the brainchild of Richard Rolfe and Jordan Love (also EU Code Week Ambassador) of Codex DLD, a tech business that helps adults to make the most of digital opportunities, including training of the unemployed. Many of their delegates graduate from no coding experience to being in fully paid employment within the industry.

Richard Rolfe of Codex DLD: “The UK Government has made computer coding compulsory in schools from September 2014 which is great for future generations but does not tackle the skills shortage that exists today. National Coding Week is all about empowering adults to take advantage of digital opportunities. We’d encourage everyone to take part, if I can learn to code aged 51 then, anyone can!”

Rachael Swidenbank, head of UK operations for Codecademy added: “National Coding Week is a great opportunity for adults to try platforms like Codecademy to experience how accessible and valuable learning digital skills can be, encouraging evolution and education regardless of age or career stage. We look forward to seeing the broader digital community come together in support.”

And if you’re hosting a National Coding Week event, please also add it to our own coding map of Europe!