Welsh Labour today outlined an ambitious plan to support the roll out of coding skills in Welsh schools if they win the Assembly elections in May.
The five point plan was launched at Sony UK Technology Centre and included proposals to give every child in Wales access to a coding workshop and expand programmes such as the successful ‘Technocamps’ initiative led by Swansea University.
Speaking at the visit on Monday, Carwyn Jones said it was critical that young people had the digital skills needed to succeed in the economy of the future.
Welsh Labour Leader Carwyn Jones said:
“It’s essential we equip our young people with the digital skills they need to compete in the knowledge economy of the future. This means exposing young people to skills such as coding at an early age in school because of the important role that knowledge is going to play in their future careers.
“We’ve made a good start over the last year in setting out a path to the new Curriculum for Wales which includes plans to roll out Digital Competence across the curriculum and developing a new Computer Science subject from the ages of 5-16. Coding skills will be an important part of this.
“Today, I have seen just how we can work with organisations like Sony UK Technology Centre on their proposed Digital Literacy Schools Programme.
“Our plan supports that work with a commitment to invest £10m in providing every young person in Wales with access to a coding workshop and plans to extend successful programmes like Technocamps which has helped educate thousands of children about coding and computer science.
“We will also work with partners in business and industry to expand the numbers of Coding Clubs in Welsh schools so young people can develop their skills in time around the curriculum.
“An important part of our plan is making sure that there is effective professional development available for teachers to be able to facilitate the wider curriculum changes and so as part of the New Deal we will support teachers through the initiatives such as Technoteach.”
Carwyn Jones said part of the work of an expanded Technocamps project would be to encourage more girls to take up STEM subjects at an earlier age.
“We should aspire to make Wales a world leader in coding and digital skills. With the opportunity we have to support the roll out of the new curriculum we can develop the next generation of young people who can not only write code but also gain the deeper understanding of how digital technology works.
“I am delighted to see employers like Sony UK Technology Centre embracing digital literacy in schools. Their work will help to inspire learning through high quality digital experiences that are aligned with the Curriculum.”