Skills Minister Nick Boles joined one of the Tech Partnership’s TechFuture Girls clubs to see how employers are working together to inspire the future female workforce into tech careers.
The minister joined St Vincent de Paul RC Primary School pupils who were working on a coding activity led by volunteers from the John Lewis Partnership. They had to describe how they made their breakfast that morning using algorithms to describe the process. The activity aims to demystify coding and algorithms by showing the girls how an algorithm is actually something they use every day without even knowing it.
Research released by the Tech Partnership shows that just 17% of tech professionals are female. TechFuture Girls aims to challenge the gender imbalance in the industry by demonstrating the exciting possibilities of careers in tech to girls at the age they typically “switch off” the subject.
Since its launch in 2005, more than 150,000 girls have benefited from its mix of activities, games and projects, all designed to build girls’ skills and confidence in technology.
Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “Today I have seen first-hand how the TechFuture Girls Club at St Vincent de Paul Primary School is working directly with employers to inspire girls to become coders and programmers.
“The digital economy is creating growth, prosperity and jobs across the UK. In such a fast paced industry, companies need to innovate to be at the cutting edge of new technologies, and a diverse workforce is key to this. That is why we have unveiled plans for a new National College for Digital Skills to provide the right skills and a route into digital careers for those inspired by projects like TechFuture Girls Club.”
The TechFuture Girls clubs are run free of charge to schools across the UK thanks to the support of Platinum sponsor HP, with generous support from Gold sponsors BT, National Grid and Oracle.
Deputy Head of St Vincent de Paul RC Primary School, Anne Fothergill, said: “Techfuture Girls makes a real difference to the girls that are part of it. Getting to work closely with the volunteers each week boosts their confidence and the activities help build their skills across a whole range of subjects from maths and IT to English.”