WCIT Charity Review WCIT Charity Review of 2017 - Page 6

WCIT CHARITY REVIEW CODE 4000 06 Teaching coding to prisoners in the UK is a European first Right: Code4000 teaches programming to prisoners to improve future employment prospects Below: Ash graduated from Code 4000 and has now found full-time employment Within three months of graduating, Ash has a job as an apprentice developer at Bulbshare in London The simplest means of reducing reoffending is to find work for ex-offenders, but this can be hard with a criminal record. Inspired by a programme at San Quentin prison in California, Code4000 has set up a life-changing programme at HMP Humber in the UK, teaching prisoners coding – a skill that is increasingly in demand in the UK. Getting a job on release means that not only are ex-offenders unlikely to reoffend, but also they can make positive contributions to the UK economy and society. change. Within three months of graduating, Ash has a job as an apprentice developer at Bulbshare in London, a successful customer collaboration platform. Ash says, “I feel very lucky to be given this opportunity to make something of my life, with so much help from Code4000 and Bulbshare.” Code4000 approached WCIT for funding to help establish employment links between businesses and the prison. Michael Taylor, the founder of Code4000 in the UK, said, “Teaching prisoners coding is an idea whose time has come, and now, with our first graduate in employment as an apprentice developer, we’re proving the case that teaching prisoners coding skills actually works.” Having no prior coding experience, Ash graduated within six months from Code4000 in January 2018. He was able to produce mobile-compliant websites and had mastered JavaScript. That he did this in parallel with a Business Studies degree at the Open University, and with a diagnosis of ADHD, demonstrates his determination to Matt Hay, the CEO of Bulbshare explains what attracted him to the Code4000 project: “We were excited at being a partner in Code4000’s radical approach to solving the dual challenge of prison rehabilitation and lack of digital skills in the UK economy. We’ve simply been impressed by Ash’s positive attitude and are very excited to have him join our team.”