CodeClan tops up the talent pipeline as tech businesses ‘go local’ to hire

CodeClan, Scotland’s first SQA accredited digital skills academy, expects to train over 250 software developers in 2017 after a recent survey revealed that 73% of businesses will turn to Scotland to hire digital talent this year, an increase of 15% on last year’s figures. According to research by industry trade body, ScotlandIS, software and web development remain the most in demand skills, with 80% of businesses looking to hire, up from 60% in 2016.

The news comes as CodeClan celebrates a double century with its 100th student placed in a digital role alongside 100 companies making up its vibrant forward-thinking employer community. Harvey Wheaton, CEO of CodeClan, said: “It is fantastic to see the confidence of Scotland’s employers return and we are proud to be playing a part in that transformation. These findings are a clear endorsement of our work as we offer industry exactly what it is looking for – good quality, job-ready developers trained here in Scotland, for Scotland.”

The digital technologies sector is one of the nation’s economic success stories, generating over £5bn in GVA for Scotland every year. CodeClan is a key element in the Government’s ‘Digital Strategy for Scotland’, which aims to create the conditions in which our digital technologies industries can thrive, working with industry to meet a shared objective of employing 150,000 people in digital technology roles over the next five years. The number of vacancies for digital jobs in Scotland each year has already risen sharply from 11,000 to 12,800 with 90,000 people working in tech in Scotland and an average salary of £37,500.

Harvey Wheaton

With CodeClan already well on its way to placing over 350 students between its Edinburgh and Glasgow campuses by the end of 2017 Wheaton said: “Placing our one hundredth student is hugely significant for us because it provides us with validation that our model is working and proves that we are doing what we set out to do, which is to equip people with the relevant skills needed for a job in tech.

“Every role that we fill now is one more towards reducing the skills gap that threatens to stifle the growth of Scotland’s technology sector. One more that ordinarily would not have been filled had CodeClan not existed. We are incredibly proud of our contribution and achievements to date and look forward to continuing to make a making a meaningful impact on the skills gap in future.”

Currently, 90% of CodeClan’s graduates land their first job in Scotland’s tech sector within six months and 50% of secure a job within six weeks of finishing the intensive course. Gregor Gilchrist was the 100th student to secure a job after studying at CodeClan, taking up a role as a Quality Assurance Analyst with Edinburgh software firm, Craneware, just one week after graduating. Before choosing to take the leap into tech, Gregor, a politics graduate, tried his hand at a number of different jobs, including teaching English in Madrid and working as warehouse manager for the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Gregor explained: “I was looking for my next step and was impressed with the set-up at CodeClan. It made sense to me to spend 16 weeks gaining an in-demand skill that could open up a whole new career path. I began work at Craneware within a week of graduating from CodeClan and am really enjoying it. The company and the role are a perfect way to start my career.”

Glasgow-based digital communications agency, Everyone, was the 100th company to join the CodeClan family. Colin Walker, its technical director of, said: “We are absolutely stoked to be CodeClan’s 100th employer and are relishing the opportunity to help nurture fresh CodeClan talent further in a Scottish climate where developers have been thin on the ground for the past few years. CodeClan equips developers with some real-world skills meaning that employers don’t start from ground zero when taking on the usual graduate talent. We look forward to our ongoing relationship with CodeClan with great anticipation and look forward to inviting some fresh talent into the industry to work on some incredible projects.”

CodeClan opened in Edinburgh in 2015 with the intention of offering a solution to the digital skills gap in Scotland by producing a continuous flow of job-ready developers via its intensive and immersive 16-week software development course. In January 2017, CodeClan launched its core 16-week programming course at The Tontine in Glasgow.

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