Workshare has launched a campaign in the London borough of Tower Hamlets in partnership with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to encourage children to develop computing skills.
The firm, which provides secure document collaboration services, is headquartered in Spitalfields in east London and has expanded since it was acquired by SkyDox in 2012, which then rebranded to Workshare.
The new campaign, which is also backed by the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, sees the firm offer a series of lessons to 40 youngsters from the area on key skills such as coding.
The aim is to improve youngsters' science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills, to help make them the right kind of candidates that businesses are looking for as technology skills become central to all industries.
The program will run for five weeks and then a competition to design and build apps will be used to select three students who will be offered paid internships at Workshare in summer 2014.
Anthony Foy, CEO of Workshare, said it was important that firms recognise the role they have to play in educating the next generation of tech-savvy workers.
“As the IT skills shortage threatens to restrain [the] UK’s economic recovery, the onus is on businesses to foster interest in IT and equip our young people with the technical knowledge they need for professional success,” he said.
Francesco Bovoli, vice president of Programme Management at Workshare, is one of those who will be teaching the youngsters involved and he told V3 the project was of vital importance.
“There is a chronic shortage of people with IT skills in the UK and a big disconnect between what people perceive is available in the job market and the opportunities that do exist,” he said.
“We think this is a great way of making people aware of the opportunities that exist on their doorstep.”
The project comes amid numerous initiatives designed to improve the tech skills of young people in the UK. However, the government's Year of Code campaign has not fared well since launching, after questions were raised over the suitability of those in charge, leading some original backers to abandon the project.
Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal.