West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, visited Bath-based health tech business, Mayden, on Friday 7 July, to see how it is boosting specialist skills to fuel growth.
The company has set up its own academy to run intensive training in coding, software development and project management for potential employees, benefiting Mayden and other local businesses.
Open to non-graduates and graduates, the 16-week course has already produced 18 work-ready software developers. Participants have included a former shelf-stacker, social care administrator and maths graduate. It has a 100 per cent success rate in getting participants into coding jobs within 90 days of completing the course.
Mayden’s approach to improving the skills of potential employees was welcomed by the West of England Mayor: “This is a really innovative example of an employer investing in training local people and equipping them with the right skills for high-quality jobs.
“Ensuring our residents have the right skills for the future is one of my key priorities for the region, and I’ve had initial discussions with universities, colleges, skills and training providers. It’s essential that we all work together, not only to ensure that our residents have the skills employers need today, but that we’re planning for the skills they will need in 10 or 20 years.”
Mayden Academy Lead, Mike Oram, said: “The digital sector in the UK is growing twice as fast as any other industry; it is projected there will be over 1 million unfilled jobs in the industry by 2020. Mayden Academy is trying to help fill the gap by training people with skills that employers need. We work closely with many different tech companies to ensure our curriculum meets their needs. Programming is not just for university graduates anymore, it is for everyone.”
Geology graduate Charlie Coggans wanted to find a way into the world of coding after a career in digital marketing and hospitality. He attended an open day for the Mayden Academy and joined as part of the first intake of trainees to get intensively trained up in coding.
Now he has been employed by the company for a year. He said: “Mayden Academy really suited me because it’s visual, well-resourced and there is always someone to answer questions. I saw a lot of online courses but I wanted to have a tutor on hand to be able to make coding come to life and learn as part of a team.
“This industry has a great work life balance, I’m always learning and the puzzle element of coding really appeals to me. I’ve done it without a computer science background and I would certainly recommend Mayden Academy for anyone who prefers a hands-on approach.”
The West of England Combined Authority is made up of Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire councils. It also works with partners including the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, North Somerset Council and others, to deliver economic growth for the wider region.