Bridging the digital skills gap in Northampton

Published:  22 September, 2017

Travis Perkins paid a visit to Northampton Academy this week to share their coding expertise with its Year 10 students as part of UK-wide ‘National Coding Week’.

Over the two sessions, software engineers from Travis Perkins’ head office delivered lessons in how to solve problems with code and set the students challenges to complete, sparking competition among the teenagers as they raced to complete complex math questions using the power of technology.

Becky Davies, ICT Teacher at Northampton Academy said: “The students gained a lot from the sessions; it was great to see them so focused. The lessons really expanded their research skills too as all the students were absolutely determined to find the best solutions for the task, which taught them great new ways to explore coding languages. Excited hands repeatedly flew into the air to announce they’d decoded every number in the fibonacci sequence, among other complex math problems.”

There is currently a startling shortage of digitally skilled workers in the UK, and there is expected to be a deficit of 900,000 skilled digital jobs by 2020. The team at Travis Perkins is taking action, engaging with the local community to help educate and inspire the next generation of IT professionals.

Travis Perkins’ Chief Digital Officer Cheryl Millington said: “Activity around National Coding Week helps to make a whole new generation more comfortable with coding and tech, allowing them to embrace the business opportunities of the future. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for employers like Travis Perkins to engage with young women and girls, and to encourage them to consider a career in IT.”

These sessions were part of a series of work that Travis Perkins has done with the Northampton Academy. Other activity with the institution includes support with career planning, education around road safety and advice on how to approach an interview.

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