People of all ages are heading back into the classroom to pursue a career in technology as the world changes around them.

After all, when Bank of England governor Mark Carney warned that 15 million British jobs are under threat from machines, he was talking about those in middle-class services, not manufacturing.

Northcoders co-founders James Brooke and Chris Hill recognised there was a gap in the market for people desperate to learn to code.

“There are serious social changes happening. People are recognising that and skilling up for the future," Brooke told BusinessCloud during a visit to the firm’s new HQ at Federation House in Manchester.

“We’ve had a wide range of different backgrounds study with us: we had a radiographer and a sales manager at an astroturf firm, for example.

“They’re either reaching the limits of where they can go in their current professions or they recognise that the world is changing because of tech and think ‘where am I going to be in five years’ time?’ That’s the biggest driver for people coming on to our course.”

Northcoders

The bootcamp-style course, which costs £6,000, is advertised as training people to become software developers in just 12 weeks. To date it has trained 101 people to code. A new part-time version of the course has now been introduced running to cater for parents and people unable to quit their current jobs.

Northcoders started life in the Sharp Project co-working space in April 2016 and moved to Federation House as it began to expand following funding from Creative England.

Northcoders

Brooke added: “There is a huge opportunity here for Manchester and the wider North to recognise that it has raw talent. But if these people with the raw talent don’t have a certain standard of skills, they are going to become a time sink for the people who are managing them.

“In a tech business your best people are the ones driving your business forward, building new features and innovating, so you need new blood to maintain the code that’s already there and ultimately to become the next line of innovators.”

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