10 March 2014
Young Scots to get the chance to learn the secrets of computer
Young people across Scotland are to get the chance to learn the
skills that propelled the founders of Facebook, Google and Twitter
to global success, it was announced today.
CoderDojo Scotland, with support from Skills Development
Scotland (SDS), are rolling out coding clubs across the country in
a bid to get more young people trained in this skill that remains a
mystery to many despite growing global demand.
It is just one of a range of activities aimed at encouraging
more young people to consider a career in the ICT and digital
technologies sector, which is worth more than £3 billion a year to
the Scottish economy, employs more than 73,000 people and offers
salaries far above the national average.
CoderDojo Scotland, which offers the extra-curricular clubs to
12 to 17-year-olds, will receive a £35,000 grant from the Scottish
Government to recruit a project officer who will oversee the
expansion in their programme.
With a particular focus on encouraging greater female
involvement and developing skills in digitally excluded
communities, more than 150 young people a month are already getting
the chance to learn coding."
Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People, made
the announcement while attending a CoderDojo Scotland workshop at
Glasgow Science Centre, as part of the Scottish Government's 'Make
Young People Your Business Week'.
Ms Campbell said: "It's fantastic to see young people getting
involved in coding. Developing coding skills is an important route
to employment in an increasingly digital age where such skills are
in high demand by employers.
"We want to attract new talent to this sector and it's
encouraging that young people are so enthusiastic to learn more
about coding by attending the CoderDojo clubs. This continued
funding for the clubs means more young girls and boys will get the
opportunity to learn more about this area of work and will
complement the ICT and computing science learning that they will
receive in school.
"It's particularly timely that this additional funding
announcement is being made during our Make Young People Your
Business in Digital Technologies week. This is part of our campaign
to promote to employers the business benefits of recruiting young
people and growing their talent in one of the most important growth
sectors in the Scottish economy."
CoderDojo Scotland Project Manager, Craig Steele, said:
"The activity so far has resulted in 279 young people being
engaged in over 2,000 hours of digital making activity, and we are
pleased to be able to expand this into the next year.
"Developing coding skills is an important route to employment,
as individuals with programming skills continue to be in high
demand from ICT and digital employers, as well as employers in
sectors such as financial services, which need individuals with
high level programming skills."
At today's event, pupils from Govan High School and Bearsden
Academy got to grips with the fundamentals of computer programming,
working with industry-trained mentors.
Claire Gillespie, ICT/Digital Technologies Sector Manager at
"Coding is such an important skill for young people to learn as
programmers are in high demand by employers and this is expected to
continue. It is so good to see it being introduced at such an early
age as it is great way to inspire the future talent which will
support the growth ambition of the sector."
"There is a growing appetite for after school coding clubs and
we can't wait to see these exciting clubs begin to develop, further
nurturing Scotland's pipeline of future digital talent.
CoderDojo is backed by Glasgow City of Science, which promotes
Scotland as a world-class science and technology destination.
Glasgow City of Science also helps to promote science, technology,
engineering and maths which is important recognition of how these
disciplines are linked and that areas like coding can cut across
Dr Susie Mitchell, Programme Director at Glasgow City of
"This additional support will help to widen access to coding
clubs across the country and allow more children and young people
to develop and harness vital digital skills.
"Coding is an exciting, enlightening and empowering skill, which
can enable young digital maker's to develop digital technologies,
like computer apps, to tackle real-world problems and improve
quality of life.
"Critically, these skills are highly valuable to employers and
underpin a range key industry sectors from ICT and digital to
health and life sciences, engineering and financial services."
Glasgow Science Centre, and its Chief Executive Stephen Breslin,
were instrumental in propelling CoderDojo Scotland forward and will
continue to support Craig, a Glasgow Science Centre employee, with
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Fiona Riddell, External Communications
Tel: 0300 013 4392 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE TO EDITORS:
At February 2014, a total of nine clubs are active in Glasgow
(x2), Edinburgh (x3), Dundee, Livingston, Stirling and
For more information on a career in the ICT sector visit: www.myworldofwork.co.uk/the-it-industry
For more information on Make Young People Your Business Week
For more information on CoderDojo Scotland, visit: www.coderdojoscotland.com