Canary Wharf Group has announced its agreement to become a financial sponsor of Code Club, with the goal of providing after-school coding classes to 75% of Tower Hamlets’ primary schools within the first year. As part of the agreement, announced at an event at Canary Wharf Group’s Level39 Technology Accelerator, technology professionals from the surrounding financial services and business community will be encouraged to volunteer and deliver the coding classes for 9-11 year olds.
Code Club, a nationwide network of volunteer-led after-school coding clubs for children aged 9-11, is hoping that 50 clubs will be established in Tower Hamlets as a result of the event. As around 12 children attend each club, this means that 600 children will be taught coding skills.
Sir George Iacobescu, Chairman of Canary Wharf Group plc. said: “ As Canary Wharf continues to grow, more businesses are looking for advanced IT skills. We are excited to launch this project, which will teach coding skills to local children. We are determined that local young people will get the best possible chance of securing jobs in this hugely exciting sector. This is one of a number of initiatives led by the company to help residents of the Tower Hamlets community into good and sustainable jobs.”
Clare Sutcliffe, Co-Founder and CEO of Code Club said: “Learning to code is so important now we are in a digital age. We all know how great children are at using technology, but we think they should be able to understand and make it too. As an organisation we are working hard to recruit enough volunteers to meet demand from schools. We are so excited about Canary Wharf’s banks getting on board to help the schools in Tower Hamlets. I hope attending a Code Club will instill children with a love of computing that will last them a lifetime and significantly impact on their future.”
Selda Ziya, ICT Curriculum Advisor, from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets said: “We’re very excited about Code Clubs in Tower Hamlets schools. With the new Primary Computing Curriculum fast approaching, this type of creative initiative, led by industry experts, is exactly what’s needed to inspire our next generation of innovators and prepare them for the fast changing world of technology.”
Global financial services firm Morgan Stanley, based in Canary Wharf, is already volunteering in local schools. Charles Clarke, who works in the Technology and Data department, volunteers with some colleagues for one hour a week at William Davis Primary School in Bethnal Green. He said: “Spending an hour a week with my Code Club has been a great experience. All the volunteers at our school live and work in Tower Hamlets, and the teaching material is brilliant, meaning every minute is a minute spent focused on the young people. I would highly recommend volunteering for Code Club to anyone working in technology.”
Code Club would like more businesses across the UK to encourage their programmers to volunteer. With over 500 schools wanting to start a Code Club, now is the time for companies to take action and invest in the programmers of the future.