Samsung partners with Code Club to open Manchester learning Hub

Samsung is working with volunteer-led computer programming initiative Code Club to help young people in Manchester develop IT skills.

The vendor has vowed to provide laptops for kids to use that attend The Factory Youth Zone in Harpurhey, Manchester, which has been selected as the site of Code Club's second UK learning Hub.

The Factory Youth Code Club will open today to provide 15 children at a time with the chance to learn how to code.

News of its opening follows on from Manchester City Council's earlier commitment to ensuring that at least a quarter of primary schools in the city feature a Code Club in 2015.

The site will be used to host weekly coding sessions for young people, as well as four training sessions a year for Code Club volunteers.

The South Korean tech vendor plans to open five such Hubs across the UK, as part of its goal of helping 70,000 children learn how to code by the end of 2015.

The first one was opened at the Dragon Hall Community Centre in Camden earlier this year.

Laura Kirsop, managing director of Code Club, said the plan is to open Hubs in areas with high levels of deprivation to help children from all backgrounds learn programming skills.

"We're now living in a digital age where coding is useful in many hobbies and careers so it's essential that access to programs like Code Club is fair," she said.

"We're delighted that the second Hub is opening in Manchester as support in the city has been fantastic."

Code Club's aim is to provide primary school children between the age of 9 and 11 with after school access to coding lessons to help them create websites, computer games and animations.

The clubs are run exclusively by volunteers, and the organisation hopes to eventually have one located in every primary school in the country.

The work it does is considered a critical part of helping to solve the UK's IT skills crisis by encouraging more people from a younger age and from a diverse mix of backgrounds to consider a career in IT.

Andy Griffiths, president of Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland, added: "We are extremely proud to be in partnership with Code Club, a collaboration that forms part of our wider citizenship programme, which aims to bridge the digital divide and skills gap for young people in the UK."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.