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Aston University joins Institute of Coding to tackle UK digital skills crisis

Institute of Coding Logo PR

22 June 2018

  • Aston joins the Institute of Coding to tackle the digital skills crisis
  • IoC launches at a special event in the House of Lords

Aston University has joined the The Institute of Coding (IoC), a consortium of universities and employers, with a mission to develop the next generation of digital talent at degree level and above. The IoC was formally launched last night at a special event in the House of Lords.

Working with the IoC, Aston University will bring together the worlds of academia and industry with a remit to spread digital skills across the UK. The IoC organisation will work specifically to develop specialist skills training in areas of strategic importance and boost equality and diversity in digital education and careers. This will be delivered through degrees, degree apprenticeships, short courses, continuing professional development, innovative learning facilities and other outreach activities.

As part of its role, the IoC will also produce research, analysis and intelligence to anticipate future skills gaps across the UK workforce.

The Institute of Coding is a £20 million government investment funded through the Office for Students, and is matched by £20 million pounds of investment from partners.

Professor Peter Sawyer, Head of Computer Science at Aston University, said:

"The announcement of the IoC is great news for computer science at Aston. Our strong links with employers, the value employers place on our graduates and our innovation in programme delivery through our degree apprenticeship programmes makes the IoC a perfect fit for us and our students.

“We’re proud that we'll be playing a major role in the IoC by leading the work on provision for students who are already in employment, but our involvement spans almost all of the IoC themes, from student-led companies to widening participation - all areas were we have a strong track-record.

“The IoC will deliver huge benefits for students and employers in tech across England but Aston students and employers in the West Midlands in particular will find the quality and diversity of provision available undergoes a step change over the next few years."

Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said:

“The Institute of Coding will play a vital role in ensuring we can continue to generate the world-class pipeline of digital specialists the UK needs and improve education for everyone.

“Backed by £20 million of Government investment, this consortium of over 60 universities, businesses and industry experts will help people of all ages gain the skills they need to secure a range of exciting careers in fields such as artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.

“This is central to the government’s modern Industrial Strategy, which aims to make sure we are all equipped for the jobs of the future.  I would like to thank everyone involved for their work so far and I’m looking forward to hearing how the Institute of Coding progresses.”

Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the Office for Students, comments:

“The Institute of Coding is a fantastic example of universities and businesses working together to develop the digital skills needed for the UK economy. I am delighted that the institute will also encourage and support groups who are traditionally underrepresented in the digital sector, including female school leavers and women returners.”

Dr Rachid Hourizi, director, Institute of Coding comments:

“We have a clear commitment to tackling the digital skills shortfall by making it easier for students, people at work and potential learners that we have not previously reached to access higher education and improve their technical abilities. We believe every person, whatever their background, deserves the opportunity to improve their digital skillsets through flexible learning convenient to their needs, whether that be face-to-face or online, full or part-time and as a stand-alone activity or part of an existing job.

The IoC has already established a network of 25 academic institutions and 60 businesses to deliver these programmes. We are working closely with our partners in industry to help equip new entrants and experienced professionals with the skills they need to thrive in the digital economy.”

ENDS

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About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students.  Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston has been a leading university for graduate employment success for over 25 years and our students do extremely well in securing top jobs and careers.  Our strong relationships with industry partners mean we understand the needs of employers, which is why we are also ranked in the top 20 for graduate employability.

About the Institute of Coding

The Institute of Coding (IoC) is a consortium of universities and employers, with a mission to develop the next generation of digital talent at degree level and above. The IoC will develop higher-level digital skills capabilities among those already in work as well as improve graduate employability.

Its goals include developing specialist skills training in areas of strategic importance, boosting equality and diversity in technology-related education and careers and producing research, analysis and intelligence to anticipate future skills gaps.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, call Rebecca Hume, Press & PR Officer, on 0121 204 5159 or email r.hume@aston.ac.uk. Alternatively, email pr@aston.ac.uk

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