L-R: Kelly Kingstone (digital skills project director), Toby Parkins (Headforwards), Rhonwen Dawes (digital skills training coordinator)

Technology partner Headforwards is launching a digital academy to deliver tech training and digital upskilling to the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly workforce.

Headforwards Digital Academy will harness the expertise of software engineering and technology specialists to help individuals and organisations gain both the technical skills and mindset shift they need to make the most of technology.

The project is part of Digital Futures, which has received £2 million from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund as part of Cornwall Council’s Good Growth Programme. Headforwards Digital Academy provides the opportunity for people to go ‘from zero to tech hero’ on a bootcamp that takes participants to the point of being a junior developer, as well as delivering upskilling in functional tools for people across the region.

Cornwall Council portfolio holder for economy Louis Gardner said: “Research has shown that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has the fastest growing tech sector in the south west, with over 1,500 digital organisations employing over 5,000 people.

“This is creating an increasing demand for digital skills, and a talent pipeline of skilled roles like programmers, developers, and software engineers into the industry.

“This programme will support the development of these skills, which will position Cornwall as a great choice for talent and industry.

“Through delivering exciting training programmes and well-paid jobs locally, our vibrant, growing tech sector can raise aspirations and create opportunities. It’s about opportunities for local job seekers to learn new skills, enhance existing knowledge, work flexibly, and earn a great wage.”

Headforwards co-founder, Toby Parkins, said: “We know there is a gap in tech skills for highly skilled people and a need for Cornwall’s workforce to gain more competency in using digital tools. Our Digital Academy will deliver training at both levels to upskill and deliver effective digital transformation.”

The 16-week Software Development Bootcamp will be delivered in collaboration with Code Institute. Launching in September with full-time and part-time options, it is open to those employed or living in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly over the age of 16 with eight fully funded and 16 part-funded places. Those who do not meet the criteria are still encouraged to make contact if interested, as the full project scope extends beyond the initial criteria.

The course includes the principles of Agile development, Bootstrap, Django, JavaScript, and more. Participants will develop behavioural skills for the workplace through three collaborative hackathon projects while on programme with their peers. All participants will develop a final capstone project to evidence to employers the coding skills they have learned.

Parkins said: “Whether you’re changing careers, trying to break into the tech industry, just graduated, or a professional keen to upskill, Bootcamp is an incredible opportunity to transform your knowledge and take your career to the next level.”

To support individuals and companies with digital transformation the Digital Academy will also offer training in a variety of products including Power BI, Sharepoint and Dynamics 365.

Headforwards is keen to support companies with individual needs and has the capability to create bespoke programmes.

Parkins added: “As a company, we have worked with a number of businesses going through digital transformation, and it always comes back to the people – it’s them that must actually deliver it. It’s vital, therefore, that they feel empowered with the right skills to be able to use the new software and systems to create meaningful change.”

For more details about the Headforwards Digital Academy, click here.