Twilio launch coding workshop for Hackney young people

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Cloud communications platform Twilio has opened a coding competition for secondary school students in Hackney.

The half-term competition, running this week, is open to those aged between 11 and 16, and will encourage young people to develop coding skills through a series of practical challenges.

Students will be asked to create apps to solve everyday problems, with a range of prizes on offer. They will also compete for the title of Hackney Schools Coding Champions 2019.

The event has been developed in partnership with the Hackney Learning Trust. The partnership is based on a shared belief that coding skills will be vital for young people to thrive in an increasingly digital landscape.

DCMS figures suggest that roles requiring digital skills pay on average 29 per cent more than those that do not, while the Open University Business Barometer found that businesses spend £527 million over twelve-month periods inflating salaries in order to attract digital talent.

Commenting on the event, David Parry-Jones, VP EMEA at Twilio, said: “Twilio has the long-term goal of teaching one million people to code, as we believe creative coding skills are key to future innovation. It’s crucial that young people learn not just the basics, but also the huge potential for their application - from an intelligent, AI-powered chatbot to something as simple as sending automated messages to friends.

"We hope that understanding this opportunity will inspire young people to consider careers in this field, plugging a gap that needs filling. We’re looking forward to working with Hackney Learning Trust, and can’t wait to see what the students achieve.”

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Hackney deputy mayor and Cabinet member for education, young people, and children’s social care, added: “Code is the language of the 21st Century, and we are thrilled to be launching our first annual Hackney schools coding challenge, in partnership with Twilio. This wonderful initiative will open up digital avenues for children in Hackney, giving them the opportunity to apply their coding knowledge into developing new and innovative projects and apps.

"This competition will not only improve our children’s coding knowledge and confidence, it will also provide them with the skills they need to help design the solutions of tomorrow, through using teamwork and creativity in a modern way.”

The competition closes today, and is held at Hackney's Tomlinson Centre.

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