Academy changeover

Quinn replaces Matthews-Clarkson at CodeClan

Melinda Matthews-Clarkson, left, is succeeded by Loral Quinn

CodeClan chief executive Melinda Matthews-Clarkson is leaving her role after five years leading Scotland’s digital skills academy.  

She is replaced by Loral Quinn, co-founder and CEO at Edinburgh-based fintech Sustainably.

Ms Matthews-Clarkson plans to take a sabbatical back in her native United States before pursuing a new position in the Scottish technology ecosystem during 2023. 

Founded in 2015 in the Codebase facility in Edinburgh, CodeClan’s mission is to bridge the digital skills gap and develop a new generation of digital professionals in Scotland.  

Ms Matthews-Clarkson said: “CodeClan is now in a solid state, we navigated our way through a challenging pandemic, and the ecosystem here is hungry for skilled tech individuals, so I felt it was a good time to pass the baton to a new leader.” 

During her tenure, the CodeClan team has grown from around 20 to more than 60, while turnover has grown from approximately £1 million to close to £3m, although she stresses that it is the digital academy’s graduates that is her real measure of success.

“The best thing has been seeing the students graduate, get their dream jobs, and then seeing them being promoted, buying homes, and starting families – that’s a hard yardstick to beat,” she said. 

“As a not-for-profit social enterprise, we have weathered many storms over the last five years, facing them with a growth mindset, collaborative problem solving, and a determination to see things through.  I could not be prouder to be part of our amazing team.” 

“Five years ago, I put a quote on the wall of CodeClan’s Edinburgh campus, which said, ‘Will it be easy?  Nope, but worth it?  Absolutely.’  Now I understand that quote applies to all that study and work at CodeClan.  It is a unique environment that allows people to grow, learn and connect with passionate people around technology.” 

In a statement, Ms Quinn said: “It’s only been a week since I started my handover, but I already feel like I’ve been at CodeClan for months. So far I have been inspired by the passion of the team, and the focus, determination and diverse backgrounds of the students.

“What we do at CodeClan is really important and it is a very exciting time for the tech ecosystem as a whole in Scotland, and for us in the middle of it all. I’m pretty well connected and I’ll be using my own playbook to help CodeClan, our students, and our business partners, grow. I’m a lifelong learner so I look forward to learning a lot too.”

Earlier this year, CodeClan Youth Academy, a partnership with investment management group Baillie Gifford, was established aimed at giving young people a real-world experience of how a technology-driven business operates, while providing them with the kind of programming skills required in an industry environment

CodeClan focuses on equipping students with industry-led training with a view to securing employment.

The digital skills academy has supported more than 2,000 people in gaining skills to transform their careers, working with in excess of 400 industry partners across Scotland’s commercial and public sectors.

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