Twilio, the leading cloud communications platform, is working with the Hackney Learning Trust (Education Department for Hackney Council) to host a half-term coding competition in Hackney, London this week. This event is open to secondary schools in Hackney who will provide 30 11-16 year olds in Key Stages 3 and 4 with the practical skills to apply coding skills to a range of different tasks. The two-day event will see young people create apps to solve everyday problems, with the opportunity to win a number of prizes and the coveted title of ‘Hackney Schools Coding Champions 2019’.
With the number of pupils in the U.K. taking up computing as a subject and sitting GCSEs falling this year, along with the gender gap when it comes to pupils developing digital skills, Twilio hopes to boost the profile of coding as a career option for all young people. The workshop forms part of a community-driven initiative, spearheaded by the Hackney Learning Trust, to help promote ‘Digital Creators’ in the borough. It aims to inspire pupils to apply the computing curriculum they are learning in schools to develop new and innovative solutions.
Against a backdrop of the UK’s growing digital skills gap, the workshop will inspire young people to learn and apply creative coding skills to solve practical, real-world problems, helping to shape the software creativity that organisations need to fuel their innovation.
Efforts to improve digital skills such as coding are vital for the economy as well as future generations. Twilio and the Hackney Learning Trust believe that coding skills open up opportunities for young people and will be crucial for the next generation to thrive in a constantly evolving digital landscape. According to the DCMS, roles that require digital skills pay 29% more than those that do not, while the Open University Business Barometer suggests that businesses have had to inflate salaries to attract digital talent, at a cost of £527 million over 12 months.
Twilio’s work in coding education already exists through initiatives such as its free interactive coding game, Twilio Quest. As part of its overarching goal to teach coding skills, Twilio believes that businesses can play a key part in inspiring a future generation of developers, who can then help to plug the digital skills gap.