New initiative sees youngsters address the IT skills shortage

TowerTower Hamlets Council in association with Workshare, Raspberry Pi and the BCS – Chartered Institute of IT launched an innovative project aimed at the borough’s young people.
The Raspberry Pi project was launched at the Whitechapel Centre on Monday, March 3 and engages young people in computer science through developing coding skills and awarding internships in addition to building awareness of careers in IT
The initiative addresses the need to improve Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills among young people and will help to address the IT skills shortage that is causing job vacancies across the tech industry.
According to research by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, one in five jobs in the UK are unfilled due to skills shortages across industries, including IT and computing.
This initiative will provide young people with greater visibility into the world of technology and what future path they could take working for a tech-based international company like Workshare.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said: “I’m pleased to be working in partnership with some fantastic organisations which not only gives our young people the skills needed to excel but also widens their prospects for the future.
“Initiatives like this are brilliant at encouraging young people to explore their options – especially when the programme could end with a paid internship at Workshare.”
Students can enter a competition at the end of the programme to develop their own application which will be presented to a panel of Workshare and industry judges
The top three students will be awarded a paid internship with Workshare who are committed to engaging the community, while also solving important social challenges in the area.
The lessons have been developed in conjunction with Dr Andrew Robinson of Manchester University, and recruitment social enterprise, Resonate, and will be delivered by the council’s youth workers and Workshare over five weeks.
The group of 40 recruited from schools, sixth forms, colleges and youth centers around the borough will learn to program the Raspberry Pi – a UK developed single-board computer designed to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools.
Cabinet member for Children, Schools & Families, Cllr Oliur Rahman, said: “This is a great opportunity for our young people to get ahead and build skills which can improve their learning and career opportunities.”

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