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Fully funded coding skills for the low paid or unemployed

Three people looking at a computer together.

Scots who are out of work or low paid are being encouraged to apply for a new fully funded computer coding skills training programme by The Open University in Scotland.

Launched today (18 November 2020), CodingSkills+ by The Open University is a 13-week, part time training programme providing the computer programming skills required for entry level software development jobs with employers across Scotland.

It is supported by Skills Development Scotland’s Digital Start Fund with no cost to eligible participants who will gain Python programming skills which are in high demand across key sectors of Scotland’s economy.

Marie Hendry, Depute Director, External Engagement & Partnerships, at The Open University in Scotland, said:

“This programme provides a real chance for those who are furthest from the job market to gain new skills which are most in demand by employers particularly as Scotland navigates recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

“With organisations looking to digitise processes and use technology to make their business more effective, coding skills can help people secure a well-paid job with career prospects. But we recognise for those unemployed or on low incomes it hard to access the training.

“We want to enable everyone to access high quality learning, to develop their skills and improve their career prospects. As we face an uncertain economic future, this has never been needed more. I would encourage anyone to develop their tech skills that are in demand by employers across a number of sectors.”

The software developer role continues to be the most in-demand digital job role across a broad range of sectors and employers. 77% of Scottish technology businesses are reporting a need for software development skills, with almost a third of organisations looking for Python skills specifically.

Claire Gillespie, Digital Technologies Skills Manager at Skills Development Scotland said:

“The Digital Start Fund is helping the unemployed and low paid in Scotland to train and access in-demand, high quality jobs in digital technology.

“With more than 13,000 job opportunities waiting to be filled every year in the tech sector, the courses offered by the Open University and others not only help individuals start a new career, but will also help plug this skills gap, and that will benefit Scotland’s tech sector as well as the wider economy as a whole.”

CodingSkills+ will be delivered online through flexible distance learning from 5 January 2021 and it is open to those who have previously achieved a grade C or above in National 5 or Standard Grade Mathematics or equivalent. Applications for the programme must be submitted by 9 December 2020 (extended from original deadline of 6 December) at

The coding skills programme is part of a range of activity led by The Open University in Scotland to support employees and businesses impacted by the pandemic. This includes working with the Scottish Government and Skills Development Scotland to develop access to free online courses for furloughed workers on, supporting employers and unions on the reskilling of workforces, and offering free places on relevant workplace courses.


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