The Institute of Coding (IoC), the government-funded national consortium of 25 universities and over 60 organisations, has witnessed a 360% increase in students signing up to its digital skills courses since January, with more than 22,000 students now on board.
Since its launch in June 2018, the IoC has launched a number of initiatives to tackle the UK’s digital skills gap and other challenges identified by government and employers, including increasing the number of people with digital skills, ensuring schools and colleges are teaching the right skills for industry requirements and boosting diversity in digital education.
To address these challenges, the IoC has been working with its partners to develop new courses in formats that encourage wider participation, like short courses, tasters and online learning.
To date, the IoC has launched more than 40 new short and long digital skills courses at undergraduate and masters levels, as well as a series of more than 50 introductory and taster courses that are designed for the pre-university pipeline. This autumn, the IoC’s 35 education partners will launch an additional 30 long and short courses.
The courses provide digital skills in areas of high demand, such as coding, artificial intelligence, cyber security and data science. From these courses, people can also pursue specific training for the automotive, healthcare, fintech and creative sectors.
Universities minister Chris Skidmore said: “Building a workforce fit for the future is a top priority for the Government and the Institute of Coding will play a central role in providing the digital skills our country needs.
“It’s fantastic to see tens of thousands of people signed up to courses, who will join a pipeline of tech talent with exciting career opportunities, as well as supporting our businesses and economic growth.”
IoC director Rachid Hourizi added: “We are increasing access to high-quality digital skills education, which is designed, in partnership with industry, to be inclusive and flexible. It is great to see the progress we are making, introducing innovative courses and attracting a high number of learners.
Last month the IoC invited groups to apply for a portion of a £2.3 million funding initiative, dubbed the Future Projects Fund, aimed at developing "cutting edge" education to promote digital excellence and improve the technical skills for a new generation of workers.
"We are working with new learners to help them to develop the core skills that employers are looking for and enabling people already in work to gain the high-level digital skills that they need.”