Amazon is seeking to address the growing need for computer science skills in the UK with the launch of Amazon Future Engineer.
Over the next two years, the childhood-to-career programme aims to inspire, educate and enable young people of all ages and backgrounds to try computer science.
It includes free robotics workshops and support for the recruitment and training of 50 secondary school computer science teachers.
“Research shows the UK needs 21,000 more computer science graduates on average, every year, to meet the demands of the digital economy,” said Doug Gurr, UK country manager for Amazon. “By making computer science skills more widely accessible from childhood to career, we hope Amazon Future Engineer will inspire and empower young people, regardless of their background, to take up careers in computer science.”
To help engage primary school pupils in robotics and coding, 10,000 children will have the chance to take part in robotics workshops at Amazon fulfilment centres, learning to program robots which use similar technology to that used by Amazon to fulfil customer orders. The company will also take the robotics workshops to primary schools across the country.
Amazon has also worked with non-profit organisation Code.org to create an interactive dance-themed online coding tutorial featuring songs from leading artists, with the aim of reaching one million children in the UK.
At the secondary school level, Amazon is working with education charity Teach First to support the recruitment and training of 50 computer science teachers and over 200 Teach First ‘Careers Leaders’, a programme run by the charity that helps leaders in schools develop a long-term school-wide careers strategy.
The company is also funding 120 apprenticeships in software development engineering, automation and advanced mechatronics, as well as 20 bursaries for students studying computer science at UK universities, enabling students from low-income backgrounds to pursue technology careers.
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