The initiative will help bridge the digital skills gap, with a capacity to train hundreds of people in the first year of opening. It is being launched by a partnership of Cambridge Regional College (CRC) and Code Nation who together will serve students and businesses across Cambridge, the East of England and Greater London.
The news comes just weeks after the Financial Times celebrated Cambridge’s status as a tech hub, and welcomed its ability to cultivate collaboration between business and academia. The Digital Academy is a further boost for the region and for businesses who will have access to an increased pool of tech talent.
Mark Robertson, Principal and Chief Executive at Cambridge Regional College which has worked with Code Nation over the past year to support their national expansion plans, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer specialist digital courses here in Cambridge.
“As the largest provider of apprenticeships in the area, working with over 1,000 employers to help to develop their future workforce, we are very aware of the rapid requirement for digital skills. There’s a huge appetite regionally for professional coding qualifications, which continues to increase as a result of the continued growth in the area and with the area rightly earning its ‘Silicon Fen’ name.
“We have worked with Code Nation over the past 12 months and have been hugely impressed with their expertise, ethos and results. We believe that together we can address the skills gaps in our region to meet employer needs.”
Code Nation was launched in Manchester in late 2017 before opening a second campus in Chester last year. To date, it has trained in excess of 500 students, more than 90% of whom have secured a job in tech as a result of their studies.
Code Nation co-founder Andy Lord said: “We set our sights on Cambridge some time ago, and have long had ambitions of working with CRC.
“We’re keen to show how we can collaborate to create coding experts quickly and we can’t wait to get started as we train the tech stars of the future.”
The Digital Academy is open to a wide range of students from school or college leavers, university graduates, to those looking for a career change, employees looking to re-skill or digital practitioners wanting to up-skill. The objective is to create employable, work ready, talent in digital.
The Digital Academy will also offer a Level 4 apprenticeship course where business-readiness is key. During a comprehensive 15 month programme, apprentices are taught more than just the technical skills, they are taught and coached with the interpersonal skills, professional know-how and skills they need to become successful employees - all while earning a competitive salary. Apprentices are placed with an employer from day one, progress through the 12 week ‘Master’ bootcamp, and begin work within their placement at week 13.
The first courses will run from mid-August from the CRC Cambridge campus in the custom built facilities in Kings Hedges Rd, Milton, Cambridge CB4 2QT.