Tomorrow is the second anniversary of the launch of the Institute of Coding (IoC) in response to the UK’s digital skills gap. With £20m of funding from the Department for Education and £20m match-funding, the IoC was set up with the aim of addressing the talent pipeline, diversity and inclusion issues in the sector, and the gap between skills provision and employer needs. I’m proud of the leading role we at the University of Bath played in its creation and, of course, we remain closely involved.
Since then, as Co-Chair of the IoC, I’ve been delighted to see the growing consortium of educators, employers and outreach organisations develop a wide range of new courses and activities at degree level. On the two-year anniversary of the IoC, I’d like to reflect on progress to date and look at what’s coming up in the year ahead.
In January 2019 the IoC had already made great strides, with 5,000 learners enrolled onto 35 courses developed under the auspices of the IoC with input from industry partners. However, by the end of the year this figure had multiplied to a total of 32,000 learners enrolled on more than 100 courses at universities across the country. These figures are a testament to the growing success of these courses and suggest an increasing appetite from learners wanting to develop new digital skills.
The Institute has also been working hard to address the diversity and inclusion issues in the digital sector. October 2019 saw the launch of the new diversity campaign “CTRL your Future” in collaboration with digital industry trailblazers who are shifting the dial on diversity. Through a series of events, panel talks, workshops and short films the IoC showed the real, accessible opportunities in digital, and called for more people from all backgrounds to get involved.
Looking forward to 2020, the IoC will be continuing to empower its partners to create new courses in long and short formats, so more people can find a pathway to fit their interests and lifestyle. We can also look forward to the second annual conference in London at the end of February, focussed on lifelong learning, with a packed programme of sessions from employers and educators. Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, founder and CEO of the STEMettes, will deliver the keynote speech, focussing on the importance of diversity in tech.
I’d like to finish by paying tribute to everyone who has been involved in the IoC over the past two years, both here at the University and those people who have contributed to activities all over the country, including my Governance Board co-chair, Jacqueline de Rojas, and other members of the Institute of Coding Boards. The team at the IoC has achieved some incredible results in a short period of time and I’m confident that the consortium is not only contributing to narrowing the digital skills gap, but also helping build a more inclusive sector that’s fit for the future.
If you are interested in learning more about any of the IoC’s courses please search the course catalogue. If you’d like more information about the IoC’s annual conference please email firstname.lastname@example.org. To keep up to date with the Institute of Coding’s latest work follow us on Twitter (@IoCoding), LinkedIn (Institute of Coding) and our newly launched Instagram (@InstituteofCoding).