Swinney attends celebration

CodeClan marks first year with student pledge

Harvey Wheaton: critical role (photo by Terry Murden)
Harvey Wheaton: critical role (photo by Terry Murden)

250 students to be trained

Skills academy CodeClan marked its first anniversary with a pledge from chief executive Harvey Wheaton that it will train 250 people in coding next year.

More than 150 students have gone through the Edinburgh institution’s crash course in its first 12 months with 90% of those going on to secure jobs within six months.

Many have gone on to work with some of Scotland’s fastest growing tech start-ups including MakeitSocial, GeckoLabs and Intelligentpos, as well as major international companies such as Adobe and Deloitte Digital.

CodeClan’s aim is to offer re-training to anyone from any background and thereby help bridge the skills gap.

In the past year, it has moved into its permanent premises neighbouring CodeBase in the shadow of the castle and has worked with the SQA to become the first digital skills academy in the UK to offer students a Professional Development Award (PDA) in software development.

CodeClan is also running a series of shorter, part-time courses aimed at those keen to expand on their technical knowledge or brush up on existing skills.

Polly Purvis, Harvey Wheaton and John Swinney at CodeClan (photo by Terry Murden)
Polly Purvis, Harvey Wheaton and John Swinney at CodeClan (photo by Terry Murden)

The academy will launch its first 16-week software development programme in Glasgow in January.

Mr Wheaton said: “We’re extremely proud of the progress we’ve made in our first year. We have built a team of incredibly talented instructors and created strong ties with the digital industry in Scotland. We have had great support from companies who see us as playing a critical role in helping create a sustainable future for Scotland’s digital economy.

“With all cohorts to the end of the year full, we are already getting repeat hires from several companies in Scotland.”

He said the academy was aiming to train 250 students in the next, aided by the new facility in Glasgow’s Tontine building.

“The fact that our cohorts are oversubscribed and students are referring friends and former colleagues is clear evidence that this style of academy is not only needed but is a practical and realistic route for anybody looking to work in the digital sector,” he said.

Chairman and ScotlandIS CEO, Polly Purvis, paid tribute to the public sector which had shown its faith in the idea.

She said: “It is wonderful to see CodeClan’s alumni securing such a variety of work so quickly after completing the course.

“We’ve seen people with a background in retail, journalism and even law come through our doors looking for a career change, and it is incredibly rewarding to help them achieve that.

“We have proved that the skills academy model works and we are delighted to be announcing our first cohort in Glasgow in the New Year.”

Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, who returned for the anniversary after launching the centre in October last year, said: “More than 82,000 people in Scotland work in digital and ICT occupations. That number is going to rise, with businesses across the economy looking for more women and men with the necessary digital skills and qualifications.

“That is why the work of CodeClan in providing new, job-ready talent is so important.”

The Skills Investment Plan for ICT and digital from Skills Development Scotland has identified around 11,000 job opportunities a year in a variety of roles within the sector, rising by 2,000 every year.

This includes traditional businesses needing higher levels of technology skills, international technology businesses, and global software development companies right through to pioneering startups in data analytics, fintech, apps development and cyber security.

One Comment to CodeClan marks first year with student pledge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked as *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.