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This is a good idea to increase the number of Women Who Code

This is a good idea to increase the number of Women Who Code

Posted on 22nd May 2019

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Woman coder

I was intrigued to read that Andy Street, the mayor of the West Midlands, has suggested that stay-at-home mothers (and retail staff) should be offered free training in coding in order to improve the country’s dire productivity record and also as a bulwark against jobs being lost to automation. 

As a not-stay-at-home mum, you might think I’d be dead against this, but in fact I think it’s a great idea.  The fact that the mayor has also announced a £5M investment to provide digital training in the West Midlands shows he’s putting his (OK, our) money where his mouth is. The idea is to fund training for c. 1,900 people.  

What’s also interesting is that he’s quite upfront about the impact of technology training on jobs, especially those in retail.  Mr Street’s view is that those who are currently not working or in low-paid role would be better off (and better paid) if they can get a job in programming. This would be better for them individually and also good for the economy as a whole.  He cites the example of a lady called  Clare Streets, who after seven years of a career break to bring up her children, embarked on a 16 week training programme at the School of Code in Birmingham  and now, less than a year later, is associate director at a software consultancy. 

The more people we can start to train in coding and development, the better it will be for all those IT companies who are currently struggling to recruit.  As well as Birmingham’s School for Code, there are other great initiatives, such as CodeClan in Scotland, where those who want a career change can get free training and support.  More please!

Susie Toner, Be-IT 

Posted in Opinion, Recruitment News

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