Wednesday 22 November 2017

Digital upskilling “increasingly pressing” before Brexit

Saturday 21 October 2017

Digital upskilling “increasingly pressing” before Brexit

The need to learn digital skills has become “increasingly pressing” as Brexit approaches, one of the organisers behind National Coding Week has said.

The comments come from Jonathan Channing, one of the initiative's organisers, off the back of a successful week last month, which was supported by JT.

The event ran from 18 to 22 September, with record-breaking levels of engagement both at events and online.

Originally founded in the Channel Islands by former headteacher Richard Rolfe and tech entrepreneur Jordan Love, the week drew in diverse crowds of more than 7,500 people – both beginners and more advanced coders – to events across the UK, Channel Islands, and even as far afield as the US and Australia.

At least 2,400 of those were children, who gained a ‘Digital Badge’ after taking part in an online course at school. It taught them the skills of password and social media management, as well as awareness of ‘stranger danger’.

In the Channel Islands, meanwhile, over 200 people attended events at the Jersey Library and Guernsey’s Digital Greenhouse, with themes ranging from augmented reality to women in technology.

Such events caused a stir on social media – 7,000 tweets, in fact – and saw engagement from entities including the BBC Academy, MIT and even GCHQ. There was also interest from the Royal Mail and Goldman Sachs Careers, as well as an online article feature in the HuffPost.

Jonathan Channing, Head of Events, said that this year had seen a “major surge in people getting involved.”

“The events were informative and well attended and I’d like to thank our Channel Island partners for their enthusiasm. I’d particularly like to thank JT for its ongoing support; NCW simply wouldn’t be possible without the backing of our sponsors. With Brexit fast approaching, the need to upskill the population in digital skills becomes an increasingly pressing one,” he commented.
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Pictured: The event was supported by JT.

Ed Jewell, Jersey’s Chief Librarian and National Coding Week Ambassador, said: “National Coding Week introduced an exciting and interesting mix of digital activities to Jersey Library. From game design and augmented reality workshops to beginner coding and getting online sessions, it was great to see individuals from across the local community getting involved, playing, experimenting and learning in the Library.”

JT’s Tamara O’Brien added: “It is great to see National Coding Week go from strength to strength in the Channel Islands and beyond. Through our 4G and fibre networks, JT is doing all it can to put Jersey and Guernsey on the digital map; National Coding Week then teaches the skills to get maximum benefit from that investment. It is a natural fit, which is why we’re proud to be a Platinum sponsor.” 

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