‘Shift Click’ is a new free training programme for young people in Stockport and Greater Manchester to learn the skills to secure a role working in digital. There will be support and guidance throughout the programme from industry coaches and experts, with guaranteed job interviews for local specialist digital roles on completion of the full programme.

The programme is delivered by Stockport Council and digital industry experts MadLab and funded by the Fast Track Digital Workforce Fund, a joint venture between the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership (LDSP).

Our delivery partner MadLab is one of the UK’s most active grassroots digital innovation organisations, with more than a decade’s experience of delivering high-quality, award-winning digital learning and creative community building in underserved areas of Greater Manchester and we are delighted to be working with such a well-established organisation.

Digital skills gap

The Fast Track Digital Workforce Fund was developed to address locally identified digital skills gaps and provides accessible pathways into digital careers for underrepresented groups.

The market for jobs in the Digital Sector and other digital based roles has been growing fast in recent years in Stockport, Greater Manchester, and the country more widely. According to the Tech Nation Report, during the pandemic, digital and tech roles have remained in high demand, compared to many other sectors, seeing a 36% increase in vacancies in the period June to August this year. The digital sector will be key in the economic recovery moving forward.

Digital technology roles are becoming increasingly important to businesses across many sectors, as well as within the digital sector itself, ensuring strong demand for people with the right skills, be it in coding, software development or many other areas.

Greater Manchester has been one of the fastest growing city regions for digital industries in Europe, however there are skills shortages to tackle to meet this demand, This is why Fast Track Digital Workforce Fund projects, like Shift Click, are so key to sustaining and growing our digital sector locally, and ensuring new talent is developed and given the opportunity to start fulfilling careers.

In Greater Manchester’s tech industry, over 80% of people have been to university and have a degree but we know that with the right skills and knowledge this doesn’t have to be the case. These programmes do not require any previous qualifications in order to apply – what matters most is commitment and an interest in learning to code.

There are two Shift Click programmes on offer initially:

Introduction to coding

An initial introduction to coding programme that will take between 8-10 weeks of part-time flexible online study and can be started at any time. Support and guidance is available to help participants undertake the online learning activities that start to build the foundations of skills and knowledge for a career in digital.

Full-stack developer programme

A full-time developer programme starting in early 2021. This is a 14-week online course requiring 30 hours of study per week. Upon completion, participants will be able to build digital products from start to finish, back-end to front-end, using the latest and best practices.

Both programmes are open to any college leaver from Greater Manchester (even if the college course was not completed) and are supported by industry professionals and mentors, including those from our own award-winning Digital Transformation team. No qualifications or prior experience are needed, just an interest in learning to code and a commitment to the programme.

In return, we will provide candidates with full support, mentorship, and the experience to help participants get where they want to be. And there are guaranteed job interviews for local specialist digital roles on completion of the full programme.

The programmes are free for participants and won’t affect any Universal Credit claims, but places are limited so candidates should apply now. For further information on the programme and how to apply see the Shift Click website.

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