Facebook and Barclays have called for young people in the UK to better understand how the web is created, and are backing a new scheme intended to teach students web and app development skills.
Web For Everyone, created by UK startup Free:Formers, is a year-long campaign of workshops focusing on 12 different industries and the applications of new technologies in each. Facebook's director of policy for Europe Richard Allan said Facebook's part in the campaign was to increase understanding on how the web works and how web and mobile app content is created.
"The web is at the crux of our daily lives but only a small proportion of people actually know how to create it," he explained. "Web For Everyone will bridge the gap between using the web and building it, whilst showcasing the huge opportunities digital skills can deliver across a range of sectors."
Barclays meanwhile acknowledged the increasingly important role that web development skills play in all industries.
The bank's chief executive of retail and business banking Ashok Vaswani said: "One of the biggest challenges for the UK is evolving to become digitally savvy in the face of an increasingly sophisticated technological world.
"That is why we are working with Free:Formers and why the Web For Everyone programme is so important, it helps people learn valuable, transferable skills like coding and web development, which are increasingly essential in any industry."
The programme is also backed by Martha Lane Fox, the UK government's digital champion. The campaign begins with a focus on fashion, with 18-25 year-olds joining forces with models from agencies Storm and Premier and Free:Formers' own tutors to create apps for the fashion industry.
Many firms see the UK's lack of skilled young tech talent as a major hurdle, which needs to be overcome if the country can hope to attract and foster more of them. Schemes such as Tech City and the new computing national curriculum are intended to go some way to do this as the government pushes the UK to compete on a global scale.
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