Written by Rab Campbell, Director, Employer and Partner Engagement
CodeClan was established last year to make a real dent in the significant skills shortage in the digital industry in Scotland. This shortage is widely recognised as inhibiting Scotland’s economic development. We were established by the industry, for the industry and benefited from a grant-in-aid from Scottish government to get us started. But going forward we need to be self sustaining as a not-for-profit organisation with both students and employers making an appropriate financial contribution to the cost of our courses.
Our principles are to be open, transparent and agile. As the first Digital Skills Academy to be established in the UK outside of London we had a commercial challenge in making ourselves economically sustainable. In London all the Academies are commercial enterprises with students paying the full cost of their training and benefiting from the substantially higher salaries available in the south east of England. We needed something different.
We have recruited over seventy trainee developers to CodeClan. Thirty three have finished their 16-week intensive course and 70% of these have quickly found jobs. Their mean salary is £24.5k. We are confident well over 90% of our students seeking jobs will find them within two-three months. Students give up their existing job and pay half of the cost of the course. They are right to trust that we can quickly transfer them into a bright new career in digital.
CodeClan rely on employers paying the balance of the cost of the course. Our original approach was to ask employers to sign a contract, pay an annual subscription and then a flat fee every time they hired. This worked to some extent, but we recognised two problems: the red tape involved in the contract, and the high cost disadvantaged the smaller companies, who we are keen to serve.
So we have taken a new approach that is fundamentally based on trust. We’ve simplified the whole process and are asking Employer Partners to take a pledge. It’s not onerous and can be done in a tick online. As a part of the pledge employers commit to making a financial contribution to CodeClan when they hire. The suggested contribution level is based on company size:
- Over 250 employees £5,000
- 51-250 employees £3,750
- 15-50 employees £2,500
- Fewer than 15 employees £1,500
It’s all about trust
There is a healthy backlog of talented students wanting to put their trust in CodeClan, applying for our courses. We are proving we can support the people we select through our intensive course and get them into new digital careers. And we have employers showing increasing interest in recruiting from us.
With the new Pledge-based model we believe we have removed the barriers to employers of all shapes and sizes engaging with us and finding new talent to drive their businesses, and the Scottish economy, forward. We know that the Scottish digital sector will get behind this new scheme and make the contributions necessary to make CodeClan economically sustainable. Don’t delay, take the pledge today!