More than 60 universities, companies and industry bodies have come together to create the Institute of Coding, a new UK project backed by £20m of government funding.
The initiative is led by Bath University, and all of the universities involved bring a variety of expertise, from sector leaders in business and computer science, and will create the next generation of digital specialists.
Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said: “A world-class pipeline of digital skills is essential to the UK’s ability to shape our future. By working together, universities, employers and industry leaders can help graduates build the right skills, in fields from cybersecurity to artificial intelligence to industrial design.”
This key institute will address the fundamental skills gap as a key part of the government’s Industrial strategy, and the £20m investment will also be matched by a further £20m from industry, including in-kind contributions such as training and equipment.
Dr Rachid Hourizi, Director of the Institute of Coding, said: “The strength of the Institute of Coding lies in the fact that it brings together educators, employers and outreach groups to co-develop digital skills education at undergraduate and masters level for learners in universities, at work and in previously under-supported groups across the country.”
The Institute of Coding will aim to address the digital skills gap in the UK, and be based around five core themes:
- University learners
- The digital workforce
- Digitalising the professions
- Widening participation
- Knowledge sharing and sustainability
Speaking at the World Economic Forum 2018 in Davos, PM Theresa May spoke about how the Institute of Coding, a key part of the government’s efforts to drive up digital skills through the Industrial Strategy, will equip people of all ages with the skills they need.
The integration of educators, outreach groups and employers will co-develop digital skills education at work, at undergraduate and masters levels, and with previously under-supported groups in the UK.
BT, among others, will provide staff and training for the Institute of Coding’s undergraduate and masters programmes. Gavin Paterson, BT Group Chief Executive, said: “Digital skills are crucial to BT’s current and future success, but no company can fix the UK’s digital skills shortage on its own.
By working together across industry and academia, the Institute of Coding will unlock access to a bigger and more diverse workforce, and support skills development for people at different stages of their careers.”
Professor Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive of HEFCE, said: “The benefits to students from the Institute of Coding are clear: exciting courses designed to meet the needs of employers; exposure to leading research; and increased work experience to support the development of their employability skills and transition to work.”
Employers working hand in hand with universities to develop specialist skills and embrace technological change is part the governments Industrial Strategy to improve digital skills. With a long-term vision for Britain, this institute will address the productivity, performance and boosting earning power of people across the UK.