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</Helping bridge the digital skills gap>

Published on 9 January 2020 by web editor

News story

The Institute of Coding (IoC) at Newcastle University is part of a national Institute of Coding network, which includes more than 30 educational institutions and 100 employers. It was created in 2018 to help increase digital skills, both within the existing digital workforce and to help upskill people into the digital sector.

Based on the Newcastle Helix site, Newcastle University’s Institute of Coding offers degree apprenticeships, short courses, continuing professional development, innovative learning facilities and other outreach activities, all of which have been designed in consultation with digital industries to be a practical solution to digital skills gaps identified in the region.

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Strategic Economic Plan has identified the digital sector as an area of importance.

But with a goal to create 100,000 more and better jobs by 2024, more work has to be done to help businesses seize the opportunity that digital technology can provide.

Two specialist degree apprenticeships in data analytics and cyber security launched last September to help businesses upskill their IT employees.

Fully funded through the Apprenticeship Levy, the programmes take two years to complete.

Intended for individuals with a computing background, students study one day a week, learning a mixture of technical skills, project work and soft skills, and get to apply their learning in a final project in their workplace, gaining an MSc qualification.

Companies from across Tees Valley to Northumberland have taken on this opportunity, including manufacturers, as well as professional and financial services firms.

A third degree apprenticeship in software engineering, for students without a formal IT background and who wish to transition into an IT role, is planned for a September 2020 intake.

Based on Newcastle University’s successful computer science conversion course, which has been running for more than 20 years, this programme will re-skill participants into areas such as software engineering, IT project management and development work

Xander Brouwer, IoC partnerships manager, says businesses are excited by the programme.

“Businesses see this as a way of pulling in people who want to transition to technical roles but who don’t know how to get there,” he says.

“It provides a real opportunity to bring diverse talent into the business in a new and exciting way.”

Courses have also been developed with regional partners to address the specific digital needs of particular industries. To help train healthcare professionals, especially within the NHS, for the digital and paper free future, Health Informatics for Healthcare Professionals are standalone sessions developed in partnership with Health Education England North East and North Cumbria.

John Davison, consultant geriatrician, associate dean, Health Education England North East and North Cumbria, says: “This ground-breaking Health Informatics programme, the first to be accredited by the Faculty of Clinical Informatics and aimed at clinicians in all health service professions new to informatics, will help develop CCIOs and CIOs of the future.”

Places are still available on Health Informatics sessions, which include Human and Computer Interaction in Healthcare, Digital Ethics for Healthcare and Cyber Security, among others.

Please select a course by switching to edit view
Please select a course by switching to edit view

The Institute of Coding can also develop bespoke short courses to help upskill employees in specific areas.

These may include improving understanding of data and digital for senior leaders, programming languages, such as Java, Python, R and MySql, data visualisation and analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, cyber security and data privacy, and blockchain or digital ethics.

Specific training can be developed to fit a company’s training or digital upskilling needs.

Newcastle University
For more information about the Institute of Coding at Newcastle University, see or, or email

This news release has been cross posted from the North East Times website. Visit the original post here.

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