Portsmouth-based tech firm launches coding academy for young people

Portsmouth-based tech firm Radweb have launched a new programme to develop the programmers and tech-experts of the future. In collaboration with Unloc, a leading education social enterprise, the firm have recruited a cohort of 6 exceptional students from Portsmouth College who will be incubated and intensively trained by experts at the company over the course of a year.

The RadWeb Coding Academy will support 16-19 year-olds interested in a career in the technology sector. As part of the programme, students that were selected after a rigorous application process, get the opportunity to undertake an extended digital work experience placement at Radweb – with mentorship from the firm’s Managing Director Steve Rad along the way. The digital work placement will see students work towards building their own fully functioning, commercially viable app or website that will be launched for consumers to use.

As well as working with Radweb’s team of 18 expert programmers and technology specialists, students on the programme will benefit from a series of 6 skills-focused training sessions delivered by Unloc to help them develop their life skills, alongside their technical knowledge.

Students that excel on the programme have the opportunity to gain an interview at the end of the process too, providing a direct career route into the technology sector. A second cohort of students will be recruited into the Coding Academy programme in February 2021 too, demonstrating the firm’s long-standing commitment to investing in young talent.

The programme is helping to tackle the UK’s technology skills shortage head on. Youth Employment UK estimate that hi-tech roles such as software programmers and developers have increased by 72% since 2011, but there simply aren’t enough suitably skilled young people to fill all those roles. The European Commission has suggested that the European economy could be short of 900,000 ICT professionals by the end of 2020.

Paul Kurdo, a Portsmouth College student selected to be part of the first cohort, said of his selection “It is a great pleasure to have this experience with Radweb. It’s a huge opportunity to allow young aspiring programmers to show their creativity and talent. Every little bit you contribute to your project will construct a tangible product in the real world. It is an absolute privilege to be able to work with professionals within the industry”.

Radweb Managing Director, Steve Rad, commented: “Radweb is at the cutting edge of software technology and we are passionately committed to giving back to our city that we are based in, and in the process – help develop young talent for the future of technology and potentially start a great career. There is a significant skills shortage in the city for high quality computer programmes and designers, and we feel strongly about supporting this industry. Both me and my co-founder James studied at the University of Portsmouth and are passionate about helping young people to follow our footsteps and find successful, fulfilling careers”.

Hayden Taylor, Managing Director of Unloc, said “We’re delighted to be working with Radweb – a brilliantly talented team of designers, programmers and marketing experts. The Radweb Coding Academy will make such a difference to the young people taking part, and addresses a crucial talent shortage in the city”.

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