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New Welsh scheme to provide coding opportunities for schoolchildren

20/06/2017 Joanna

The Welsh government has pledged £1.3 million to help fund a new scheme to encourage schoolchildren to get involved in coding.

With the importance of coding and digital skills on the rise, the scheme will expand the availability of code clubs - which give children an opportunity to learn the basics of programming - across every part of Wales.

Currently, there are around 300 code clubs in operation across the country, and the Welsh government is looking to broaden this by raising awareness and highlighting the benefits of these clubs among teachers, pupils and parents, while breaking down barriers to participation.

Efforts will also be made to partner with businesses and industry bodies to support these clubs and provide opportunities for children to get involved in coding in more professional environments.

The overall goal will be to get parents involved in the promotion of coding and the development of digital skills, while also offering more Welsh medium support and resources, and working to tackle the issues that prevent more girls from becoming interested in coding and technology.

Welsh education secretary Kirsty Williams said: "Code is part of almost everyone's lives; when we check out social media, access an app or computer we are using systems created through code.

"It is an essential building block of our modern world and I want to make sure as many of our young people have knowledge of it as they develop their digital skills."

Currently, there are estimated to be around 1.5 million jobs in the digital sector in the UK, of which 400,000 involve coding. Around 100,000 new coding jobs are expected to be created by 2020, meaning it is vital for students in Wales and across the rest of Britain to be given opportunities to acquire these skills.

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