SRC addressing crisis in software coding skills

Peter Bayne

Reporter:

Peter Bayne

Email:

peter.bayne@newrydemocrat.com

Southern Regional College the ‘NextGen Coders’ project in its state-of-the-art Banbridge Campus. ‘NextGen Coders’ is a new initiative aimed at addressing the skills shortage in the Software Sector.

A recent study conducted by Invest NI, has outlined the significant lack of skills in coding, so much so that the software industry will suffer from a undersupply of people with software skills to support the growth of the IT sector in Northern Ireland.

The overarching aim of ‘NextGen Coders’ is to help address this imbalance by increasing the number of young people opting to undertake suitable programme of study at GCSE level through the degree level in computer science and software development.

Stephen Rogan, Head of Faculty for Computing, Design & Academic Studies said at the launch:

“We aim to work with local schools to support the delivery of relevant software related curriculum at both GCSE and A Level. Working with the Further Education Sector IT Curriculum HUB, the outcomes of this pilot programme at Southern Regional College will be rolled out across the other five regional colleges”.

“Within the project, there are several strands aimed at tackling the lack of graduates with software coding skills. These include a series of coding and information workshops, the delivery of GCSE Digital Technology (programming route) and offering the AS/A-Level in Systems Software Development to local secondary schools within the four ‘Area Learning Communities’ in the Southern region”.

This initiative is being delivered jointly with the software sector who will be involved in several areas from hosting master workshops, supporting work placement, to providing information and guidance on career opportunities and progression opportunities in local Universities and Colleges.

The College will be offering the GCSE in Digital Technology to any young person entering key stage 4 next year.  The GCSE is being offered free of charge in conjunction with the Area Learning Communities in the following locations:

Banbridge

Newry

Armagh

Portadown

To find out more about NextGen Coders and register your interest please contact Stephen Rogan email: rogans@src.ac.uk

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