The skills and talent of pupils from primary schools Blythefield and St Malachy’s were recognised this week at a special ceremony hosted by leading tech company Neueda.
Neueda invited P6 and P7 pupils from the two Belfast schools to tech event Digital DNA in St George’s Market to graduate from Neueda Code Club, a 40-week class delivered by Neueda aimed at encouraging an early interest in coding and technology.
Speaking about the importance of initiatives such as Code Club, Neueda Head of People and Culture, Lisa Sweeney, said:
“The young people from Blythefield and St Malachy’s really embraced Code Club, engaging positively with our staff, tackling tasks head on and learning quickly. The pupils and teachers alike can be commended for their great input to the programme.
“We believe that the sooner you engage with young people about the power of and opportunities offered through tech, the more effective you can be in sparking a long-term passion for it.
“You can see the parallels of such an approach through sport. We can look towards Ajax Amsterdam for example, which is renowned for the huge focus they place on developing young talent through their Youth Academy and other programmes. They know that in doing so, they won’t only find future star players for their club, they will also improve the quality of the game of football worldwide. Essentially, they are nurturing young talent to perform on a global stage.
“The same approach can and should be applied within the tech sector. We invest as much time into finding, nurturing and supporting young talent as we can, in the hope that the next generation will go on to pursue a tech-based career in whichever sector they choose. That may not necessarily mean they come to work for Neueda one day, but it will improve the overall skillset of the sector – which is a win-win for everyone,” Lisa said.
Launched by Neueda in 2015, Code Club is delivered by a team of its enthusiastic engineers, who work in partnership with teachers to develop skills and confidence in coding. It is one element of a suite of programmes and initiatives Neueda has in place to encourage a constant flow of new talent into the IT sector:
“Code Club is almost stage one of our talent development strategy,” continues Lisa Sweeney.
“That support continues through our partnerships with colleges, our graduate programme ‘Earn as You Learn’, Tech Academy course for non-IT graduates and the ongoing skills development we provide to our employees.
“We believe that whilst we can’t guarantee someone will choose to spend their whole career with us, we can promise they will leave Neueda with more skills than when they joined us. That ‘big picture’ approach is how we believe we can do our part to future-proof our industry,” Lisa said.