Codez Academy Blog

Codez Academy continues quest to close digital skills gaps in Wales

dean jenkins - Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Work to close the digital skills gap in Wales continues with the launch of a new programme designed to help adults of all capabilities equip themselves with the knowledge they need to succeed. 

Codez Academy is introducing a new scheme to help reduce the barriers to entry for all those interested in working within the digital world after more than 2 million high-paying jobs were predicted to emerge from the UK tech sector within the next five years.

The Penarth-based coding school will run a three-month evening course for adults at its base in Tec Marina from October onwards to help improve students’ employability prospects and overall digital capabilities. The company also wants to help address 2015 figures which show just 27% of those employed in the UK’s digital industries are women, which is well below the UK average of 47%. 

Codez Academy Managing Director, Dean Jenkins, said: “We are working to give our students the digital skills required to be able to reach these high-flying roles and ultimately grow the digital sector in Wales. In 2015 it was revealed that only 62% of adults have the five basic digital skills and are working to change that, one student at a time.  

“Coding has become an essential qualification in an increasingly digital world and is now considered almost as important as traditional core subjects by employers. This course will provide a step-by-step guide to help students prepare for a new career or simply to develop in their current one.”

With no previous digital experience required, the scheme is designed to introduce basic coding concepts behind the creation of websites, apps, games and other digital platforms. By the end of the course, students are expected to have a solid understanding of all the basic aspects of web design and construction, having completed two tasks: a one-page website and a five-page website. 

Launched in 2015, Codez Academy believes that everyone should have the opportunity to learn and develop computer and coding skills, transforming more consumers into creators, and exists as an organisation to ensure individuals have a solid foundation on which to grow in business, or to start a career in tech.

Dean added: “Ultimately, we want all of our learners to feel confident learning new skills and we will support them 100% the whole way through, to help them achieve whatever their aims might be.”

For more information about the courses and availability, visit the Codez Academy website: 

Digital Roots Pilot Scheme Performing with Flying Colours

dean jenkins - Monday, April 25, 2016

Digital Roots Pilot Scheme Performing with Flying Colours

At the beginning of the month, we finally launched the pilot for our long-planned Digital Roots Scheme. Weeks of blood, sweat and tears (not quite literally) went into building our baby, but as the students come to the end of their four weeks of training, things couldn't have gone any better! 

Five students have joined the ranks and in just three weeks, have come impressively far. In their final week of training, they will soon be thrown into the deep end to work with real clients to start building up their portfolios. More impressive yet, they have already completed a number of real projects, smashing them out in just a couple of days each. From building their own websites to designing business cards, the speed at which our students have found their stride is astonishing. 

Last week we were visited by a number of our partners and supporters to show them exactly what their much appreciated support has helped us achieve (and to have some free sandwiches which is  always a bonus). A great day was had by all and we're pleased to announce further support is now allowing us to expand our reach into Cardiff and soon into RCT, so watch those spaces!

We're excited to move into the next phase of the scheme. As always, if you're a business that's interested in getting involved by sponsoring a student, all you need do is get in touch! You'll get a shiny new website out of the deal, as well as being listed as one of our sponsors on our website and all Digital Roots literature (plus you'll save a bucket load of money!). Applications are now open for the next run of the scheme if you'd like to get involved as a student. 

We'd like to give a special thanks to Sharon Owen of Caerphilly County Borough Council, Gareth Price of Careers Wales, Christine Prescott of Cardiff Adult Community Learning, Gary Black of RCT and Gavin Jones of the RDP in Caerphilly Council. Thank you also to everyone else that came along to show their support and get involved! 

Welcome to the brand new Codez Academy blog!

dean jenkins - Friday, April 15, 2016

Welcome to the brand new Codez Academy blog, your source for all things digital! With this blog we aim to keep you up to date on the goings on in the digital industry, our latest news and to provide useful resources and tips as we uncover them. 

The digital world is an exciting place to be right now. Jobs are opening up as the demand for digitally skilled employees is rising dramatically, particularly in Wales. The Welsh Digital Industry is fast growing to rival the big players across the rest of the UK, even London. Our industry is crying out for ICT professionals to get involved to fill the looming gap in the job market. We also have not-for-profit organisations like Nesta urging the youngsters to get involved as digital skills become as important a skill-set to possess as maths or science. Now really is the best time to get involved! The digital sector accounted for £250 billion of the UK’s annual turnover last year according to the Office of National Statistics, so let’s help put Wales on the map!

We’re here to help. We have recently launched our Adult Evening Courses and have successfully implemented a pilot scheme for the Kids Holiday Bootcamps over the summer. We teach web coding and front-end development, with soon-to-be accredited courses to help you get involved with the industry. For all information about the services we offer, check out our website at! For news on all things digital, useful resources, hints and tips, check back in weekly on our blog. 

The Codez Team

Prisoners Learning to Code

dean jenkins - Thursday, April 14, 2016

Since 2014, as part of The Last Mile initiative, inmates of California's most notorious prison, San Quentin, have been taking part in Code.7370 – learning to code and develop front-end web development skills. Supported by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and CalPIA, the inmates will learn to code in CSS, HTML, Javascript and Python with the end goal that they have a real tangible opportunity to gain employment once they have completed their sentences.

As with the UK's looming skills shortage in the digital sector, the US is also facing a skills gap of upwards of a million vacancies by 2020. Chris Redlitz, founder of the scheme and of The Last Mile writes on his website 'The TLM “returned graduates” will be positioned well to leverage this opportunity and support our mission to reduce recidivism by attaining gainful employment.

While evidence is mixed due to containing a large number of environmental and health factors, there is still positive evidence that given an effective support package that addresses all of these issues, ex-offenders that gain employment following release are less likely to re-offend. For example, Chris Redlitz points towards the receptiveness and enthusiasm shown by the TLM students he has trained, and testimonials on the website indicate that the inmates gratefully receive the opportunity to improve their lives and have something to look forwards to upon release. 

The scheme has shown promise; one inmate, James Houston, has built a company named Teen Tech Hub to help at-risk children in his old neighbourhood by providing a safe place for them to go after school and learn useful skills about tech and coding. James is now serving the local community of Richmond, California, having been hired by the local council to launch his scheme this year. 

So could this benefit inmates and ex-offenders in the UK? Of course the prison system in the UK is different to that in the US and differences in socio-economic elements must be considered, but with such rewarding prospects ever-growing in the digital industry, an obvious supply and demand can be filled. This benefits the ex-offenders in that they will earn a skill that will supply them with a fulfilling career and allows them to contribute back to society, and the economy will benefit from a supply of freshly skilled digital and tech employees. It makes sense. By giving it a go not only do we offer a non-stigmatised opportunity for ex-offenders to have a second chance, but it will give us valuable data to consider effective rehabilitation schemes.