Connecting with the Employees of the Future
Software Cornwall represents a network of companies operating in Cornwall. In the future, these companies will require talented staff to fill available positions at all levels within their organisations. By providing outreach to as many schools and colleges as possible we hope to change this.
Software Cornwall’s education outreach programme was created to help encourage the next generation into the tech industry as well as help connect education and businesses through shared activity. By showcasing the counties software community and encouraging exploration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) topics through software, we aim to facilitate future growth of the tech industry.
Difficulties in Hiring Local Talent
Currently, a lot of local advertised positions are being filled by individuals from elsewhere in the country and around the world. CEOs have even travelled abroad to encourage foreign talent to join them in Cornwall. These organisations would rather hire locally but there just isn’t enough local talent. By encouraging local children to have a go and that right around them is an exciting and well-paid career path Software Cornwall hopes to change things.
We’re seeing lots of faces from previous outreach activities gain employment within our network. Graduates of our Mission to Mars and Agile Summer Huddle programmes are now contributing to industry leading projects across Cornwall. Gain more insight by reading Jordan’s post on her journey.
Connect with Schools
Our aim is to bring to every secondary school pupil in the county the opportunity to try out computer coding, show them projects local businesses are working on and meet professionals working in the county today. And to engage with pupils in primary schools providing them with a first look into their possible career of the future.
We aim to:
- Provide a digital career assembly to every pupil in every secondary school year. Currently over 20,000 reached.
- Run workshops within schools to experience coding and writing software. All equipment is provided.
- Attend careers events organised by the schools & colleges.
- Assist in setting up Code Clubs in schools.
- Provide the Mission to Mars, our work experience offering via the Cornwall Council, to Year 10 students every year. Nearly 400 participants so far.
- Support Cornwall Tech Jam once a month on a Saturday and provide extracurricular coding activities to youngsters (e.g. Scouts and Guides).
The assemblies showcase the Cornwall Software industry highlighting the work being done. It shows the benefits of working in the technology industry in Cornwall, briefly demonstrates uses of computer programming that maybe have not been seen before to engage pupils currently not aware of it. Workshops within schools are also available utilising BBC Microbits, Raspberry Pi computers and the Mission to Mars Rovers. These are a real hands on experience of physical computing away from the more formal teaching.
Mission to Mars was developed to provide an encapsulated work experience, supported by companies from the Software Cornwall network. Participants are mentored by professionals and given a real insight into life as a software startup.
Ada and Alan, the rover robots, are programmed by the students to negotiate the surrounding terrain, avoiding obstacles and navigate to a home beacon. Not as easy as it sounds given that each rover has its own ‘quirks’! The experience will hopefully encourage these pupils to further consider a future career in the tech sector in Cornwall.
We also support the monthly Tech Jams dotted around the county. These are open events where anyone is welcome to come along, for free, and try their hands at coding, meet similarly minded people and see what projects others are working on.