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Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership to offer 24 fully funded Northcoders diversity scholarships.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership are partnering with Northcoders – the Manchester based industry-leading software development training and solutions provider – to offer 24 fully funded scholarships to people who are disadvantaged and / or underrepresented in the digital industry, as part of the Fast Track Digital Workforce Fund. The 14-week coding bootcamp will start on Tuesday 4th May.

The Fast Track Fund is a joint venture between Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership (LDSP), developed to address locally identified digital skills gaps and support Greater Manchester and Lancashire residents with accessible routes into digital employment. This Fund has been extended through the Department for Education Digital Bootcamps to maximise on this work, giving residents the opportunity to build up their digital skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer.

The scholarships are open to the following Greater Manchester or Lancashire residents: disadvantaged young people (19+) who maybe unemployed or under employed; those in low pay sectors or displaced / at risk of redundancy due to CV19 and in need of retraining; the over 50s; ethnic minorities; women or gender minorities; and those with a disability or health condition particularly – neurodiversity including ADHD, autism, dyslexia or dyspraxia.

All learning will be delivered online – however, the main campus in Manchester city centre will be reopening on 4th May so students will be able to learn in person for as many days a week as they feel comfortable.

During the course, recipients of the scholarships will learn all the skills they need to become a full stack software developer. Each bootcamp is an industry led experience and are constantly updated to match the skills employers want.

The first week will be dedicated to building confidence around JavaScript so students are able to handle data and create interactivity on website and apps. They will also build their HTML and CSS skills. The focus will then move onto the fundamentals and best practice of programming, front and back-end frameworks, and finally the project phase which will allow students to put what they’ve learned into practice.

Northcoders also delivers a Careers Week which includes various sessions including industry insight and preparation sessions, an in-depth CV workshop, tech interview advice and practice, and tech test insights. The week also gives students time to develop their portfolios.

Applications for the diversity scholarship can be made here: https://northcoders.com/our-courses/fully-funded-scholarships

Lou Cordwell, Chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GM LEP), said: “Addressing the inequalities that the pandemic has amplified is a central part of our Economic Vision for Greater Manchester. The Fast Track Digital Workforce Fund does vital work by providing under-represented and marginalised groups in the digital and tech sectors with accessible routes into digital employment.
“This scholarship programme will bridge the digital divide by giving residents valuable skills which can help them find meaningful employment. It also helps employers, boosting the talent pool of people with sought-after software development skills.”

Ann Dean MBE, chair of the Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership and LEP board director – said “Like everywhere, both Lancashire and Greater Manchester have been hit hard by the pandemic with redundancies and recruitment freezes impacting thousands across the region. Unfortunately, certain groups have been disproportionately affected and we understand that there is a real need for more retraining opportunities. Our aim with this scholarship programme is to directly help some of those people who have been negatively impacted so they are able to forge a new career.”

Amul Batra – Chief Partnerships Officer at Northcoders – added: “We are delighted to be partnering with Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Lancashire Digital Skills on this scholarship programme. We are confident it will be a platform that will directly benefit individuals but also help to make tech a more diverse and inclusive sector.”
Since its inaugural course in 2015, Northcoders has helped over 750 people switch careers into tech, with average starting salaries of around £25,500. Whilst 95% of Northcoders secure a software engineering role after graduation. Northcoders’ main campus is at Manchester Technology Centre and it has a base at Platform in Leeds.

Over the past two years, it has been selected as one of the country’s brightest tech stars in Creative England’s CE50 list and was named Business of the Year at the 15th Annual Chamber Business Awards. It has also launched scholarship schemes and a deferred payment programme aimed at women and gender minorities, as well as those who identify as BAME or LGBTQ+, have a disability or have had limited access to education, to help address diversity in tech. The firm also relocated its Manchester campus to a new 10,000 sq. ft space at Manchester Technology Centre on Oxford Road in early 2020.

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