This time last year, Joanne Reid had completed her end of school examinations and was working full-time as a waitress.
Despite receiving two offers to study Marketing at university, the 17 year old decided to go down a different path to most of her peers. Preferring not to go to university, Joanne decided to start building her career and applied to become a Marketing Assistant at nSYS Services, the automated procurement and invoicing specialists in Aberdeen. She explains why she felt this was the right path for her:
“I figured out that I wasn’t too keen on the idea of University, so I thought that beginning to build my career at 17 was the best choice. I applied to become a Marketing Assistant at nSYS Services which was a 1 year apprenticeship back in July last year.”
We all know that coding is the thing to learn these days. But how do you even start? Well it may become easier to get a new skill now as Scotland’s first dedicated software skills academy is to be set up. The aim is to produce wave after wave of software developers ready for work every 10 weeks, with the first cohort graduating in February 2016.
CodeClan, a coding school for web and mobile software development, is based on the success of the new breed of immersive academies around the world including Flatiron School in New York, Makers in London and Stackademy in Berlin.
The aim is to create a new generation of software developers that will allow Scotland’s vibrant digital sector to flourish and drive the economy. CodeClan will draw on an untapped resource of talented individuals who have an aptitude for coding but need a route into the industry.
The academy is being launched amid a global shortage of digital skills affecting businesses in many different sectors of the economy. Forecasts suggest Scotland alone could offer up to 11,000 job opportunities a year in the digital sector, rising by 2000 every year. Skills-starved employers are currently offering upwards of £23,000 to £25,000 to recruit entry-level developers.
Industry led and Government backed, the academy’s curriculum has been tailored to fit real time market demands in Scotland and is working with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), to offer its graduates ‘Professional Development Awards’ in Software Development.
Rebecca Heaney from CodeClan explains: “Digital is part of every day life and CodeClan will fast track access into shaping that world. A CodeClan qualification will create countless career paths and give students skills they can take anywhere.”
Digital Industries Trade Body, ScotlandIS has championed the need to grow the talent pool in Scotland for many years and is one of the principal architects of CodeClan. Polly Purvis, CEO of ScotlandIS explains: “It is a phenomenally exciting time to be working in the digital technologies in Scotland with companies like Skyscanner and Fanduel taking the world by storm. CodeClan is a ‘way in’ for people who want to be part of that story.”
SQA Chief Executive, Dr Janet Brown, said, “SQA is committed to helping people realise their potential and achieve their ambitions by providing a wide range of high quality, internationally recognised qualifications and associated services. We work with employers and industry to ensure that SQA qualifications accurately reflect learners’ knowledge and skills and provide routes to jobs or further study as well as enable organisations to succeed in meeting a wide range of educational and workforce development challenges.
“We are delighted to be working with ScotlandIS in the development of Professional Development Awards in Software Development, which will upskill employees in the digital technology industry and support the sector in addressing the current skills shortages.”
CodeClan is looking for people who are natural problem solvers and the students will need to hit the ground running. Long hours are an inevitable part of immersive education, so there will also be a focus on student wellbeing to ensure students are given the support needed to cope with the demands of the course.
The first cohort of students will be drawn from a variety of backgrounds from STEM graduates and coding hobbyists to people changing career or returning to work. Although a tech background is not needed a rigorous selection process, including mandatory pre-qualification course, will help determine aptitude and fit.
Industry leaders in Scotland agree that coding education is needed to safeguard future growth. According to Nigel Eccles CEO of FanDuel, the global leader in daily fantasy sports which was founded and has its engineering team based here in Scotland said: “We need developers in the tech talent pipeline not just in Edinburgh but throughout Scotland. The growth of any company correlates precisely to the skills and experience of its people. We have found great talent here and we are looking forward to seeing the next generation emerge.”
Ever considered an apprenticeship in web development, IT or coding? check out QA Apprenticeships here
Are you an employer, school or QA Apprentice? Together we can inspire 10,000 young people into futures in the UK’s brightest sector.
#10KinTech is a QA campaign for UK employers, schools and apprentices. Our goal is to pave the way for as many young people as possible to start careers in the tech sector.
Over the last five years we’ve bucked recessions and a stalling economy to give 5,000 young people fantastic careers in great companies.
The tech sector is the UK economy’s success story – outstripping the UK’s GDP growth by 400% and combined with the government’s target to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020*, there is the opportunity to create many bright futures for Britain’s young people.
Tech is exploding, but can the UK keep up?
>> Employers are hiring more apprentices than ever.
>> Schools are seeing more demand for IT subjects than ever.
It’s true – more young people than ever are trying to get into tech. But too many are still unaware of all their options. Instead of looking at apprenticeships, they are guided down the same old routes that delay their tech career. Our campaign aims to give them a start that really works.
Why pledge your support?
Did you know an apprenticeship lets young people:
>> Start a tech career NOW
>> Progress from Level 3 apprenticeship to Degree level – all whilst on the job
>> Pay nothing, get paid a salary and start work in amazing tech companies
>> Gain relevant, industry-recognised accreditation
>> Avoid three years of university training with technology that might change tomorrow
>> Enter a prestigious, evergreen profession with exceptional prospects
What does it take to start 10,000 new careers?
With your help, we believe we can hit this ambitious target. That’s because:
>> QA Apprenticeships created 5,000 careers in its first five years – that’s more young people into tech and digital careers than anyone else
>> We offer the UK’s widest range of IT, tech and digital apprenticeships from GCSE to MSc
>> 92% of our employers say our apprenticeships add value to their business, and most come back for more
>> Our apprenticeship training was described as “world class” by Ofsted when they graded us as outstanding
>> We won Apprenticeship Programme of the Year three years in a row in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and were named Best Further and Vocational Provider by Education Investor in 2015
>> We have a dozen training centres in prime city centre locations all over the country
That’s what we’ve done in the past – but we need all your help to launch an amazing future for the UK’s young people.
>> Employers: pledge to hire a QA Apprentice
>> Schools: pledge to refer candidates to QA
>> QA Apprentices: pledge to recommend your friends
Email your pledge video to email@example.com
Futures to Shout About
Have you chosen the right path to the future you want?
It can be daunting thinking about leaving the route you’ve chosen, even if you know deep down that it’s not quite right. But there is another way.
Have you settled for 6th form or university? Ask yourself whether you really need to spend another few years in the classroom when you could start your dream career right now.
Are you stuck in a job with no future? Ask yourself if the job you have is leading you into the future career that you want.
Whatever your situation now, if you want a future to shout about choose an apprenticeship with QA and apply today.
Launch your future
QA Apprenticeships is the biggest & best tech, digital and IT apprenticeships business.
Hundreds of employers hiring now – QA have 100s of live jobs at any one time and recruit all year round, so there’s no need to wait till September to start your career
Earn £150-£250 per week – QA Apprentices start earning from day one, and could even earn £42k per year after their apprenticeship as they progress up in their IT career
94% go on to full-time jobs – QA Apprentices have a better chance of finding a job immediately after their apprenticeship than graduates from most top universities
You are more likely to succeed – QA Apprentices have an 84% success rate (11% above national average for apprenticeships)