Skills and Education

The digital technology sector is fast becoming one of the leading industries in the UK, delivering vast economic benefits and creating high value job prospects, meaning there is a greater need than ever to ensure a pipeline of highly-skilled workers to sustain it.

By 2020 the North East will be home to 2,500 software companies, employing over 25,000 people and contributing £1.1bn to the regional economy. This is double the UK’s annual growth rate. The biggest factor inhibiting this growth is the lack of suitably skilled people moving to the region and entering the sector.

Sunderland Software City is at the forefront of efforts to narrow the digital talent gap in the UK, delivering a suite of initiatives designed to attract and retain talent, raise awareness, support teachers, help children and adults develop digital skills, connect industry and education to ensure the needs of business are being met and new talent have the skills required to enter the workforce and inspire young people about the possibilities of technology.

By working to educate young people about technology, accelerating the flow of talented people from all backgrounds into technology careers, inspiring the next generation of digital entrepreneurs and helping companies develop the technology skills they need for the future, we are actively working to secure the continued growth and success of the North East digital economy.

Below is an overview of some of our skills and education initiatives.

We work with a range of industry partners such as The Tech Partnership, Tech City UK and directly with Government to inform policy, address skills requirements, drive initiatives and ensure the needs of industry are represented within regional and national efforts to drive digital talent.

We undertake a range of Work Discovery activities designed to raise awareness of tech careers and inspire the next generation of digital talent. We work with schools, colleges and universities across the region and beyond to educate young people and teachers about the companies, careers and opportunities within tech; retaining graduate talent and ensuring more people choose to pursue careers in the sector.

A key aim of championing the sector in the region nationally and internationally is to also attract talented people. We advocate the size, strength and success of the sector and highlight the benefits of living and working in the North East, such as the lower cost of living and higher quality of life.

We are also investing in developing digital skills amongst our youngest members of society, running multiple Coderdojo code clubs for children aged from 5-16, developing their coding skills and abilities and fostering an interest in technology that will lead them into prosperous careers within the industry.

Our regular Coderdojos take place on the last Monday of every month at Sunderland Software Centre from 5pm-6:30pm and we will shortly be launching a new Saturday morning session at Sunderland City Library.

We also work with our University and further education partners to deliver placement programmes which subsidise businesses employment costs by pairing software companies with top students and graduates from regional universities and colleges.