Northcoders – the Manchester and Leeds based coding school – has seen a sharp upturn in the last three-months of firms across the region accessing its DevAccelerator programme. DevAccelerator is designed to fast-track individuals with a foundation development skill set so that they have the attributes of those in professional level roles within 12-months and, most importantly, it can be paid for using the Apprenticeship Levy.
Northcoders designed the programme to combine the best bits of the Apprenticeship Framework with its DevLabs course in order to create a better way of using the Apprenticeship Levy pot. If employers don’t have a levy, they can share the cost with the government. This is called ‘co-investment’ and means the company pays 5% and the government will pay the rest.
Northcoders has cited a number of key reasons for the surge in demand, including firms wanting to accelerate the development of new hires and upskill current employees in order to make them as technically proficient in web development as possible to aid their growth post-Covid-19.
Josh Gray – Head of Partnerships at Northcoders – said: “The last few months has been a challenging period for many businesses. However, it has also been a time of reflection which has made organisations take a step back and assess what skills they need in-house to ensure they come out of the pandemic in as strong a position as possible. DevAccelerator gives firms the opportunity to tailor training specifically to the needs of their organisation and culture whilst maximising financial support via the Apprenticeship Levy.
Josh added: “A lot of businesses don’t understand what apprenticeship funding is available via the Levy, whether they pay into it or not, so they are missing out on the chance to grow their in-house capabilities. Accessing this funding, and using it in the right way, could be a game-changer as it can deliver structured training that provides the progression and roadmap to attract and retain the best and brightest junior developers whilst freeing up senior developers’ time from training and mentoring. It also doesn’t impact on their balance sheet which is a key consideration in the current climate, whilst furloughed staff can still take part in training at no additional cost to them or the business.”
Junior engineers who take the DevAccelerator programme receive mentorship by expert tutors with industry experience, achieve career progression without having to move companies and have their achievements recognised with a professional certification.
On Thursday 2nd July, Northcoders is staging a free webinar for any firm interested in fast tracking their junior developers to confident mid-level developers via the Apprenticeship Levy. It will be led by Josh Gray – Head of Partnerships at Northcoders; Michaela Reaney – Client Services Director at The Opportunity Group; and Jonny Rathbone – Head of Curriculum at Northcoders.
Since its inaugural course in 2015, Northcoders has helped over 500 people switch careers into tech, with average starting salaries of £25,000. As well as the Manchester campus, Northcoders also has a site at tech hub Platform in Leeds.
Over the past 18-months, it has been selected as one of the country’s brightest tech stars in Creative England’s CE50 list and was named Business of the Year at the 15th Annual Chamber Business Awards. It has also launched scholarship schemes and a deferred payment programme aimed at women and gender minorities, as well as those who identify as BAME or LGBTQ+, have a disability or have had limited access to education, to help address diversity in tech. The firm also relocated its Manchester campus to a new 10,000 sq. ft space at Manchester Technology Centre on Oxford Road.