Outreach organisations can apply for new £2.3m digital fund

The Institute of Coding has announced the fund, backed by money from the Office for Students

The Institute of Coding has announced a £2.3m fund for groups to help reduce the digital skills gap.

Provided by the Office for Students, the regulator for higher education in England, funds will be allocated to between five and ten bidding groups that will need to propose plans to improve access to digital skills education, enhance graduate employability and employment outcomes, and address identified skills needs.

Groups applying for the fund must include at least one higher education provider with existing course provision in computer science or information technology and at least one industry partner. Bids can include industry partners, other higher education providers, other employers, business partners and professional or outreach organisations.

Key areas of focus for the fund are innovative approaches to digital skills education in areas of national need so that graduates can learn to apply subject-specific skills to current industry challenges. Other areas include supporting the development of broader employability skills, transition into work and engaging employers actively in curriculum design to ensure alignment with the industry as well as encouraging more women and ethnic minority students into the digital sector.

Dr Rachid Hourizi, director of the Institute of Coding, said: "Gaining access to high-quality education and training is absolutely critical to tackling the UK’s digital skills shortfall.

"The IoC’s new fund will enable academic institutions and industry organisations to work together, developing cutting-edge education to promote digital excellence and improve the technical skills of a new generation of workers. This initiative is the latest in a wide array of activity from the IoC to launch new services and spread digital skills across the country."

The deadline for proposals is Monday 26 November 2018.

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