£40 million National Institute of Coding established to plug skills gap

Institute of Coding announced

A £40 million national Institute of Coding, announced this week by the Prime Minister, will help fill the UK’s digital skills shortage, as well as attracting more people from underrepresented groups into the sector.

With £20 million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and £20 million plus of matched funding, this is a unique and innovative collaboration in response to the digital skills gap in the UK.

The Institute will bring together a consortium of more than 60 universities, national and international corporations, SMEs, industry groups, experts in non-traditional learning and professional bodies to form a national initiative which will reach throughout the UK.

Led by the University of Bath, the Institute of Coding will develop and deliver innovative, industry-focused higher education across the UK.

The Institute’s vision is to enhance the education and employability of every IoC learner, and ensure that employers and individuals across the UK can access the skills they need to compete in the global digital economy.

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.

“Courses will be made available at undergraduate and masters levels, alongside short courses in areas of strategic importance including data science, artificial intelligence and cyber security.

“In addition, we’ll work with our partners to implement a Widening Participation programme to target underrepresented talent through outreach activities, tailored and inclusive curricula, flexible delivery and removal of barriers to working in the industry.”

Demand for computer science specialists is already strong and set to increase drastically.

More than 500,000 people will be needed to fill roles in the three highest skilled groups in the digital arena by 2022 – three times the number of UK Computer Sciences graduates in the last 10 years.