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Lack of digital skills is a growing problem for employers and employees

In support of National Coding Week (17th – 23rd September 2018), Wales-based training company, Codez Academy, is calling on all UK employers to work more closely with training providers, educators and policy-makers to address the need for more adults to learn to code and gain highly-valued digital skills.    

Dean Jenkins, founder and managing director of Codez Academy said:

“As the digital economy continues to grow, we need to create a tech savvy nation. 

“However, it’s crucial that we also find new ways to inspire adults, of all ages and educational backgrounds, to become more than just users of tech. We need to work together to encourage men and women to engage with learning opportunities to become developers and creators.” 

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The digital skills gap, estimated to cost the UK economy £63 billion pounds a year, is set to widen. Current predictions suggest that 90% of all jobs will require an element of digital skill within the next twenty years; while more than one million additional workers, with advanced or expert digital skills, will be required by 2022.

Barclay’s 2017 Digital Development Index found that UK employers would pay up to £10,000 a year more for workers with expertise in computer programming, software engineering or systems design and £3,000 a year for advanced digital skills in graphic design, data and 3D modelling. The sums involved are significant when you consider 7% of total UK jobs require expert skills and 15% require advanced skills.

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A high salary premium cannot overcome the impact that the digital skills gap has on the local talent pool. Wales has one of the highest skills gaps in the UK; just 66% of adults claim to have basic digital skills. This puts Wales alongside the South East (outside of London) and South West at the bottom of the Digital Development Index. 

Yet, nearly 1 in 4 jobs advertised in Wales require advanced digital skills. This means that key roles can remain vacant over a long period of time. 

Dean added, “Codez Academy was set-up to help more people learn coding skills in order to win well paid jobs in their home town! The team has a real passion for helping everyone who is looking to develop their coding skills and to get ahead in this digital world.

“Codez works closely with charities, voluntary groups and a wide range of employers and employees – from government to corporates to small business owners – to ensure that our training courses meet the changing needs of the workplace.

“The team also works one-to-one with the individual learners to help each one gain new skills and, when required, help them to secure well-paid and highly-valued jobs that offer a rewarding career and the opportunity for a great work-life balance.”

Codez Academy works with the unemployed, adults without academic qualifications and women returning to work after a career break through to middle-aged workers looking for a career change, and entrepreneurs looking to maintain their skills.

Today the most sought-after coding capabilities within the public, private and voluntary sectors include content creation, graphic design, web development, data analysis, 3D modelling, software engineering, network administration, cyber security and, of course, computer programming. Of equal importance are the wide range of roles, within science, engineering and the creative industries, that require basic, advanced or expert coding skills.

 Dean concluded: “There is a clear need for a more inclusive approach to digital upskilling – one that incentivises people of all ages and backgrounds, in all parts of the country, to become more digitally empowered. At Codez Academy, we’re committed to playing our part.”

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