OU joins national consortium to develop digital talent

Jun 25, 2018

The Institute of Coding, launched on Thursday (June 21) at the House of Lords, aims to develop specialist skills training in areas of strategic importance and boost equality and diversity in digital education and careers.

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 John Domingue, the OU’s lead on the project said: “The Open University, as a leading member of this new and much-needed institution, is proud to see it launched. We are excited to be at the forefront of educating the next generation of computer scientists and digital technicians and to pave the way for better digital skills provision in the UK.”

The training 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.

IoC director Dr Rachid Hourizi said: “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,” said Dr Rachid.

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. 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.” 

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