CodeClan have responded quickly in response to COVID-19 and adapting their campuses to virtual interactive classrooms
CodeClan, Scotland’s national digital skills academy has pivoted to a virtual interactive classroom model via teams from its Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness campuses. By deploying virtual classrooms, student cohorts totaling over 100 candidates are continuing to study immersive Professional Software Development (PSD), Data Analysis and Full-Stack Web Development courses until a time when CodeClan can return to a more blended form of in situ and remote learning. To date, over 950 people have graduated from CodeClan since the not-for-profit digital academy opened its doors in 2015. CodeClan CEO Melinda Matthews-Clarkson comments: “Covid-19 has accelerated the need to incorporate digitisation and data across the business scene in Scotland and globally. At CodeClan we talk about ‘future-proofing’ your career and this is now more relevant than ever because of the current health crisis and how it’s going to impact the work dynamic in the months and years ahead. Not only do new employees need to understand how critical software applications and data-driven decisions are but we need to reach all of the employees in a business to be able to manage and survive the impact of the pandemic.” Matthews-Clarkson added: “Scotland plc – from large corporates to SMEs and micro-businesses – is going to have to upscale its digital functionality across the board and we’re here to support that digital empowerment of their people. While there is always scope for greater collaboration, we’re fortunate in Scotland in that we have a business and technology ecosystem that is well connected and resilient and we’ve really seen that come to the fore over the last few weeks.” The majority of CodeClan’s graduates are now working in technical roles with over 250 employer partners – from large corporates, major financial institutions, government departments, through to the country’s startup scene. Led by former IBM executive Melinda Matthews-Clarkson since December 2017, Matthews-Clarkson has overseen the organisation moving to a self-funding model following initial Scottish Government support and now established as a key driver in addressing Scotland’s digital skills gap. Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said: “I’m pleased that CodeClan have acted quickly. It’s important that candidates continue to receive the excellent digital skills training that will prepare them for exciting careers in the new high-tech, low-carbon economy, which is going to play an important role in Scotland’s post-pandemic future.” CodeClan has ramped up its offerings of short and bespoke course, which enable companies to future-proof their workforce with new in-demand skills. The PSD course, the first to be delivered by CodeClan, is fully-accredited by the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) and has twice won Best Training Programme at the Digital Technology Awards in 2017 and 2018. The Data Analysis and Full-Stack Web Development courses were both launched last year. Other operating highlights in 2019 for CodeClan included the opening of the Highlands Campus in Inverness in April, continued growth of the Digital Diversity group and saw significant growth of CodeClan’s Client Xperience program, which gives students the opportunity to work on projects with real third-sector clients and benefits charities, students and instructors.