Lytham based education services company, Gledus, has developed a major new initiative to help Lancashire school children engage with computer science and software programming.
Working with Lancaster University and Kirkham Grammar School, Gledus, accredited by the British Accredition Council, has developed its new STEAM programme to make computer science more attractive and give students, aged eight to 16, a taste of the future.
The Gledus STEAM programme is a combination of the better known STEM with an Arts element.
Henry Hargreaves, managing director of Gledus said: “The arts element is important, to focus a little on the soft skills as well. We want to deliver a rounded experience.”
Henry, winner of Most Inspiring Young Person of the Year 2018 at the BIBAs, has first hand experience of digital developments in other countries.
He said: “Even amongst developed countries, there is an emerging digital skills gap.
“We are approaching a perfect storm with the convergence of AI, machine learning, autonomous vehicles, internet of things (IoT), blockchain, 5G, cyber security, VR and 3D printing – all requiring software programmers.”
He said huge opportunities await those who get an early start in these areas and software coding is a great entry point.
Henry added: “While the UK education system is held in huge respect around the world, we need to stay ahead of the game and initiatives like this help to make computer science more attractive and help students understand the impact they can have through coding.”
The Gledus programmes aim to spark interest in a digital career. “Sometimes parents and students alike are unaware of how much digital skills are in demand across industry and fostering an early curiosity is a key ambition for our programmes”.
There is also a female only programme to encourage more girls to consider working in the sector, details on Gledus website.
Babs Murphy, chief executive of North and West Lancashire Chamber of Commerce says, “This is a great initiative by Henry and Gledus.
“We all recognise the importance of the digital economy both nationally and to Lancashire and totally support what Henry is doing to engage with the programmers of the future.”