Ambition North Wales has teamed up with Code First Girls to offer women and non-binary people free coding courses and access to tech roles within national organisations such as Deloitte, BT, Nike and GCHQ.
The initiative aims to close the gender skills gap in tech, at a time when only 19 % of those studying computer science post 16 years of age are women.
As part of the new partnership, Code First Girls (CFG) is calling on women and non-binary people in North Wales to sign up for free training to prepare them for what is becoming the fastest growing and most in-demand profession. They are also appealing to organisations who want to diversify their tech teams to get in touch and play an active role in changing the tech landscape.
There are 5,075 digital firms across the whole of Wales with a total turnover of £3billion. Trends show that Welsh employers are calling out for coders and people with digital knowhow and businesses are keen to ensure a more diverse workforce. It is a growing sector but it is a well-known fact that skills are in short supply across the board.
Sian Lloyd Roberts, Regional Skills Manager from the Ambition North Wales Skills and Employability team said:
“The opportunity and demand for coding skills has never been so high – it is becoming key to so many sectors in a diverse economy. This is just one of the reasons we are delighted to see the CFG programme being delivered in the region. As well as delivering first class training, they can provide the answer to the growing demand for developers by connecting organisations with top female and non-binary talent.
“Our hope is that the work will ensure a pipeline of certificated women and non-binary junior developers as well as raise our profile as a great region to do business and increase connections with international organisations.”
Over the past three years, Code First Girls has become one of the largest providers of free coding courses for women and non-binary people, and has delivered over £40million worth of free technology education.
When the initiative was set up in 2017 it pledged to teach over 20,000 young women and non-binary people in the UK and Ireland how to code. Since then, it has surpassed this goal, having taught over 60,000 women to date, and is now growing across the UK and internationally with programmes attracting candidates across multiple countries including India, Netherlands, Poland, Oman and the USA.
Anna Brailsford is the CEO at Code First Girls:
“Code First Girls is growing rapidly across the UK, providing women and non-binary people in Wales with access to free tech education directly linked to exciting companies and employment opportunities. As a social impact business, we are on a mission to transform the tech landscape, getting more women and non-binary talent into job roles and eliminating the diversity gap.
Having diversity of thought in tech is a competitive advantage for businesses and we’re delighted to offer a solution to the growing need for diverse tech talent which is crucial in tackling fundamental challenges faced by our society – from recovering from COVID-19 to defending international cybersecurity.”
As well as Ambition North Wales, CFG has worked with other organisations and businesses across Wales including Admiral, Veygo, Cognizant Foundation, TPXImpact, Openreach and the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).
To get involved, Ambition North Wales is encouraging people to register on-line at Code First Girls – learn to code for free