Number of women learning computer skills slumps by a third

Makers Academy launches apprenticeship scheme to urge women over 40 to learn coding skills

Woman coding

Software programming course provider Makers Academy has highlighted that the number of women in digital skills-related roles is declining, despite efforts to convince females that coding is an essential skill for the future.

The company explained that the number of women taking computing or ICT GCSEs has fallen by a third in the last three years, from 52,835 in 2014, down to 35,103 in 2018.

"We need more women training as software designers and programmers if we are to remain competitive in a post-Brexit world," Evgeny Shadchnev, CEO of Makers Academy said. "Diversity can't be an afterthought in digital economy, and it is never too late to learn coding and consider a career switch."

Overall, the number of software developers has decreased too, with those entering into development roles slipping 16,000 in the last year. In fact, this is the first time levels have dropped in ten years, causing concern the UK will be left behind when it leaves the EU.

To address the falling numbers, Makers Academy has launched a free apprenticeship scheme that aims to get more individuals into software engineering careers, with a focus on getting women into coding. At the end of the apprenticeships, anyone taking part will be guaranteed a job in the digital sector.

The scheme has been funded by a 3 billion funding initiative for apprenticeships and hopes to attract those aged over 40 to try a new career.

It will include a training academy in East London that will teach everyone how to code and during this week's National Coding Week, it will offer people free Ruby coding lessons as a taster.

"We are thrilled to be launching the UK's first apprenticeship software engineering programme in the format of the bootcamp we have been running for over 5 years," Shadchnev added. "We feel our contribution will benefit the levy scheme, which has not yet reached its full potential."

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