Bridging Dundee’s Digital Skills Gap

The 20th of January 2016 marks an auspicious moment in the development of Dundee’s digital economy with the launch of Dundee & Angus College’s brand new Code Academy!

It’s no secret that the UK’s digital sector is growing rapidly and by 2020 the industry is expected to see a 5.4% increase in high skilled job creation. Despite this ongoing success there is however a potential spanner in the works. Whilst employment needs continue their relentless climb an ever widening skills gap presents itself as more and more companies site issues in attracting and retaining suitable talent.

“While the demand for people with software development skills is growing, the number of those entering into this area of study is at best stagnating and in some places actually dropping,”

– Simon Hewitt, Head of Creative Industries, D&A College

Should this trend continue our digital and creative industries could be set to suffer as competition for top talent drives it further from the reach of burgeoning and exciting digital start-ups.

Thankfully, forward thinking Dundee & Angus College are tackling the issue head on with the launch of their new Code Academy. Set in the fantastic new facilities at the Gardyne campus the Code Academy will engage with primary schools, secondary schools, universities and business to create a hot spot of creative experimentation and learning.

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Image Credit: Dundee & Angus College

It’s a fantastic solution. The academy being open to all ages shows a clear commitment to delivering a sustainable solution for generations to come. Furthermore, engaging universities and businesses to support the initiative will help to ensure success. The industry moves at lightning pace and having information passed back from businesses on how their needs are changing will help ensure the training offered remains relevant, fresh and competitive.

D&A College Code Academy – Launch Event

The launch event, opened by Scottish Education Minister Angela Constance and covered by STV was a huge success. A real buzz of enthusiasm permeated through the workshops put on to showcase a taster of more to come.

It’s no surprise really, who wouldn’t get excited by Lego robot wars. As if we weren’t already eager enough for the return of the hit TV show….

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Photo Credit:@lookwhatjendid

If a heated battle between two robots built from your favourite childhood past-time wasn’t enough there was also a showcase of some exciting and innovative games developed by some of the College’s very own HNC students.

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Photo Credit: @lookwhatjendid

The fun continues watching youngsters take an innovative approach to learning maths using probot cars!

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Photo Credit: Dundee & Angus College

The initiative has also done a fantastic job at reaching out to the local business community to offer a comprehensive resource for the budding developers of tomorrow. Acting as lead partner, the Dundee success story LogicNow were at the launch event to provide world class development tips and Terrier studios welcomed visitors to their office to show enthusiastic students where the magic happens. Yours truly, Zudu were also there acting as partners for the initiative. We delivered a workshop to inspire the next generation of web and app developers and give them guidance on working in the industry, technologies to look out for and starting their own digital venture!

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Hats Off to Dundee & Angus College

Working with Dundee & Angus College on this initiative has been a superb experience. The college really understands the skills gap problem and has come up with a really compelling solution. It’s great to see them take a crucial leadership role in bringing key stakeholders together and providing a practical solution to the skills gap problem. Hats off to you D&A College! Your efforts will provide a great contribution to safeguarding the growth Dundee’s exciting digital industry and providing high-skilled, well paid jobs to the next generation.

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