Fellow launches social enterprise to help students into software careers

Published: 24 Mar 2017

Author: Karen Scott
Fellow launches social enterprise to help students into software careers

On 4th March, Karen Scott, a Fellow of 2014, launched a new social enterprise which will provide rich work experience for budding young coders. futureCoders will develop low cost apps for charity, non-profit and social start-up clients. After launching with the help of a small grant, futureCoders are now crowdfunding to raise funds to complete a six month pilot.

For her Fellowship, Karen travelled to Scotland, Denmark and Japan to investigate how the relationship between colleges and the digital industry affects students’ experiences. futureCoders is inspired by ideas she gained during her travels, as well as the many talented young coders Karen worked with during her 25 year teaching career.

The futureCoders model allows students to gain real, long-term, software development, work experience while they are still in full-time college or sixth-form education. Students work with professional developers on real projects for charities and non-profits.

“The futureCoders idea is based on 'practice schools' I observed in Danish Colleges of Technology during my Fellowship. Practice schools are simulated workplaces allowing young apprentices to develop their skills and employability before being taken on by an employer. Employers value the development of the apprentices before they entered the workplace, and this is especially important to employers of software developers” –Karen Scott

An initial one month pilot of futureCoders was run between December 2016 and January 2017. As a result, one student developer, Jake, was offered further work experience with a mobile app development company.

Karen is now looking for financial help through a Kickstarter campaign, which is being supported by the RSA. Funding will allow futureCoders to run a pilot to fully test the concept with up to six students. Karen is also seeking support to identify charities, non-profits and social start-ups who are looking for developers to produce software at an affordable price.

Contact Karen: info@futurecoders.org.uk

Support Karen’s Kickstarter campaign

Read the report on futureCoders’ one month pilot

Read Karen’s Fellowship report here