A new 12 week intensive course in web development aims to tackle the skills gap and increase diversity in the tech sector across the South West.

With a growing digital and tech industry across Bristol and Bath crying out for people with the right skills and experience, Develop Me, a new Bristol-based digital skills school, is launching a 12 week intensive coding initiative. Called the Coding Fellowship, it will help individuals learn to code and access careers as web developers.

Applications for the fellowship are now open, and the first cohort of fledgling coders will start the programme in April 2016. The Coding Fellowship will run 3 times a year, and the project-driven course will teach the key coding techniques, tools, technologies and processes used by professional developers.

The fellowship has been developed and will be delivered by industry experts, with existing digital businesses directly inputting into the curriculum. The programme also offers valuable industry experience through a work placement with one of the region’s key employers and career support to help students secure a job upon graduation. The programme will take students from beginners to professional junior developers in 24 weeks (12 weeks in the taught element of the programme and a further 4 – 12 weeks on placement).

The programme has been developed with support from the Creative Skills Hub and West of England Local Enterprise Partnership and directly addresses the current industry’s need to quickly develop a workforce fit for industry. The availability of this workforce will also have a positive effect on the Enterprise Zone as it experiences rapid growth in the number of jobs availabile in the digital and hi-tech sectors.

Nicky Williams of Creative Skills Hub and Business West said:

“The Tech Fellowship will bring another innovative entry-point into our world class tech and digital sector in the West of England. It is an imperative to have responsive and relevant training opportunities to sustain the growth and meet the needs of this fast changing industry. With the digital economy on an upward spiral our region needs a range of pathways and routes in that will encourage the diversity we need in the sector.”

Pete New, one of Develop Me’s founders, said:

“With over one million digital jobs advertised nationally in 2014 and a 5.4% growth predicted over the next 5 years, the industry needs to be adopting and encouraging new routes into the sector. Our ‘Coding Fellowship’ is a fast track into a career in one of the most exciting and innovative industries of our times. With the fellowship, and the support of industry, we hope to start chipping away at the skills gap and increasing diversity in the digital industries.”

You can find out more about sponsoring a diversity place on the programme, offering a work placement or applying for a place on the coding fellowship on the Develop Me website.