Over the past 20+ years, interest in, knowledge of, and capacity for computing and digital skills has failed to keep pace with the transformational rise of the digital society and economy. This has led to substantial knowledge gaps in digital education, and an ever-increasing deficit in recruitment into the digital workforce, particularly amongst females.
Technocamps is a pan-Wales school and community outreach unit aimed at addressing these problems. Founded in 2003 at Swansea University, we subsequently established a Technocamps hub in the Computer Science Department of every University throughout Wales.
In Technocamps, we research, champion and deliver change in national curricula, qualifications, delivery and professional development in order to foster a sustainable digital skills pipeline in Wales. With its teacher training programme Technoteach, its business engagement operation Institute of Coding in Wales, and its research arm Educational, Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Computer Science (EHP), we engage with:
- every school in the country to support computing teachers and students
- businesses of all descriptions looking to address their digital skills gaps
- all of the nation’s universities along with academics working on the problem internationally
All of our workshops and training opportunities are free for the schools, companies and beneficiaries, thanks to substantial financial support from EU, Welsh Government and research council grants.
Since 2011, Technocamps has engaged with over 60,000 students in Wales – 8% of the Welsh population today aged 5-24 and with a near-even gender balance. Through Technocamps, we create an interest in the subject, particularly amongst young girls, to address a desperately under-represented community in the digital workforce. In particular, we delivered over 10 hours of workshops in almost every one of the nation’s secondary schools to aid them in embedding a new Digital Competence Framework (DCF), a statutory initiative first proposed in a National Review we led on producing for Welsh Government in 2013.
We have provided a year-long accredited Technoteach programme of training to over 100 teachers across Wales who lack a formal ICT/Computing background yet need to teach these subjects due to the shortage of qualified teachers (given that 75% of those teaching ICT/Computing in Wales have no ICT/Computing background). Our business-focussed Institute of Coding in Wales programme provides innovative CPD opportunities, in particular trailblazer Degree Apprenticeships.