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Linz's Blog: Why you should invest in #CodeYork

In this blog, Linz talks about why we are doing #CodeYork and how you can get involved!

16 November 2015


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Hello everyone

Since my last blog (coincidentally also on Coding which if you haven’t read I recommend you do so) a lot has changed in the coding scene here in York. I told you all about how we had held a successful event and started some very in demand (and very sold out!) coding classes for both adults and teens. I told you about what coding is, how right now, what you are really reading is many many lines of coding and that everyday, our lives are influenced by this language but that we were undergoing a significant skills shortage, so much so that York businesses are struggling to employ the workers with the necessary skills.

With all of this in mind, we realised that what York really needed was a more organised, less piecemeal approach to the education and spreading of this vital skill. #CodeYork is the movement where secondary schools will be able to get expert training from teachers in the field to enable York’s kids to get a head start against kids from elsewhere, where those same kids can attend a weekly code club to enable them to further their knowledge and skills to equal their enthusiasm for the subject and learn even more advanced languages then many university students presently know and where in half term time, holiday clubs will be set up to enable fun code challenges to get our kids really thinking and challenging themselves.

But that’s not where #CodeYork ends. Adults from school leavers to pensioners, Mum’s wanting to return to work, those looking to change careers, people with the interest in the subject... everyone will be able to partake in evening classes to not only learn the basics of coding but to also master many of the languages and upskill as a result. We believe coding is for everyone, young and old, male and female, and we are keen to extend that opportunity throughout York to ensure that with our world class digital infrastructure, we have world class digital skills to match.

You may be asking what about Code Club UK? After all we did run the successful Explore event with them? Well Code Club very kindly helped us by volunteering for the sessions and we will be working in partnership with them but their sphere of influence is very much on primary schools which, while that is a target for us, we recognise there’s no point having 2 different kind of clubs in at that level when one lot of clubs will suffice. We will however still be looking to assist them in getting into every York primary school and ensuring that there are volunteers on hand to help teach. We do believe that through this approach, we can give every York resident an opportunity and create the worlds first and best code education conveyor belt. Like I said before, its matching the skills to the infrastructure.

This may seem like a challenging, extremely ambitious plan. I would say not only is it extremely so, but that we have the team best equipped to deliver such an ambitious plan to fruition right here in York. But if we want to truly succeed, we will need the help and support of the country’s best business community which is of course York’s (flattery is always worth a try).

We need:

  • Volunteers to help run the clubs! (We want a code club and #CodeYork club in every school – we therefore need a lot of volunteers!)
  • Help training the volunteers! (If you know a thing or two and can help us up skill our volunteers, please get in touch – they may be training your future workforce after all!)
  • Investment & Sponsorship! (Tis the season for giving! But on a serious note, consider the money you currently spend on training your staff members to get them up to speed with the languages you use, the money spent on agencies to help you find these new workers... only to have to do it all again when vacancies crop up! We are offering to train your future workforce but we need every penny we can get to help us spread this programme and to ensure it is of the upmost quality. We ask you consider donating something, 2/3 months of a trainee wage if possible, to help us push this. We will even be offering club sponsorship opportunities for you to possibly sponsor a club near you so you and your brand can put your own personal stamp on a club and help educate and fund education for young adults to pick up the languages your brand find most invaluable.)
  • Spread the word! Please share this post with as many people as you can. If you know someone who would be interested in contributing to this programme, please inform them to what we are doing)

If you want to learn more, volunteer or take your support for #CodeYork further, please contact myself on my mobile 07879 415784 or email me at lindsay.wilkinson@york.gov.uk.

I hope after reading this post, you not only understand my enthusiasm and passion for getting this across York, but that you share in it and understand why its so pivotal to get this out there and why now is the time to do it.

Thank you for reading,

Linz.

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Contact Details


Lindsay Wilkinson - Digital City Executive

Contact Number - 01904 551091

Contact Email - lindsay.wilkinson@york.gov.uk

 

Jae Beavers - Digital City Officer

Contact Number - 01904 551945

Contact Email - jae.beavers@york.gov.uk

 

 

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