Stockport Council has launched a new digital learning initiative aimed at giving young people the skills they need to perform digital roles.
Dubbed Shift Click, the new training program is free to young people in Stockport and Greater Manchester, and will consist of two courses, including an introduction to coding and a development program.
Councilwoman Kate Butler, Cabinet Member for Citizen Focus and Engagement, said: “Digital is a key growth area both nationally and regionally, and there is currently a shortage of people with the right skills.
“We are delighted to launch this new opportunity in Stockport for young people to gain the right skills and knowledge to enter the tech industry and benefit from the mentorship and expertise of industry experts. If you are interested in a career in the digital or technology sector, then these free training courses may be what you are looking for. “
There is a technology skills gap in the UK, with not enough skilled workers available to fill organizations’ void digital roles, a problem that many people believe will be exacerbated by Brexit.
Tech talent also tends to gravitate towards the London bubble, with 40% of UK tech talent residing in the capital, although many tech-focused companies, such as Moonpig and Amazon, are now opening hubs in the area of Manchester.
Shift Click programs are aimed at young people, such as college dropouts, in the Greater Manchester area, although applicants can select the 30+ age range on the online application form, and are designed to provide the skills needed for a digital role in a short amount of time. No prior experience is required to apply and courses are taught online.
The full-time developer program will run for 14 weeks and will teach skills such as the fundamentals of software development, back-end and front-end development, and inclusive design.
Participants in the Developer program will use Agile Project Development to contribute to a number of projects that can be used as part of a portfolio, and will be given access to internships and interviews once they have completed the course.
Both programs will feature participants supported by trainers and industry experts, and will be delivered by the Stockport Council in collaboration with MadLab and the Fast Track Digital Workforce Fund.
Shift Click is part of several projects in Greater Manchester and Lancashire that have been supported by the Fast Track Digital Workforce Fund, which was established by the Department of Digital Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS), Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Lancashire. Digital Skills Association to Address Digital Skills Gaps in the Greater Manchester Area.
The £ 3 million fund was established in early 2020 to fund 14 projects that aim to help more than 600 residents in the Greater Manchester and Lancashire area create accessible routes in digital roles.
The fund is specifically aimed at helping underrepresented or disadvantaged groups perform technology functions by assisting in the development of projects to support businesses and residents in filling local skills gaps in creative, digital and technology roles.