With some 900,000 ICT jobs across Europe not filled due to insufficient training, MEP Sean Kelly said today he has asked the European Commission to fund and support CoderDojo coding classes.
Speaking with Siliconrepublic.com, Kelly said digital literacy and digital skills are vital for every citizen in Europe and most importantly, for the next generation.
Today, 30 young people from CoderDojos in Poland, Romania, Italy, the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands travelled to Brussels to showcase their coding and digital skills and to teach MEPs their first line of code.
CoderDojo classes currently reach 25,000 students across Europe.
Kelly, who has been named ‘MEP of the Year’ for his work in pioneering digital issues and data protection, said the purpose of the visit is to raise awareness and support of MEPs for coding and digital curriculum.
“I have asked for real support through funding under the Erasmus Plus programme from the Digital Agenda.”
Europe faces a skills time bomb
Irish MEPs Mairead McGuinness and Sean Kelly with Edward Leonard (16) from Athlone
Kelly said he met the forthcoming commissioner responsible for the Digital Agenda, Günther Oettinger, who will be taking over the office from Neelie Kroes on 1 November.
“I explained to him what’s involved and I have asked him to support it.”
CoderDojo CEO Mary Moloney said today that CoderDojo, which was founded in Ireland three years ago by James Whelton and Bill Liao, now teaches 25,000 children in 50 countries worldwide across 525 dojos on a weekly basis. This includes 350 clubs in Europe teaching 15,000 children.
She said the ambition now is to grow its numbers to 100,000 children learning coding on a weekly basis in the next 18 months.
“The movement is completely voluntary but it is logical that as it grows it will require more back-up for support and administration.
“And certainly I believe the EU will be in a position to fund some of that.
“It is not just for the benefit of the kids but it will contribute in a significant way to actually create the skills necessary for Europe to develop the entire tech sector for years to come.”
Don’t miss our Innovation Ireland Forum on 24 October in the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin