Ada College and London CLC: bridging the digital skills gap

Caitlin McMillan, teaching and learning consultant, shares the connections between London CLC and Ada, the National College for Digital Skills

Computer code
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Some meetings were just meant to be. 

When our teaching and learning consultant Rowan Roberts got chatting to Tina Götschi from Ada College at a National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE) facilitators course, it was clear that this was one of those meetings.

Ada, the National College for Digital Skills, is an FE college which places tech at the heart of their curriculum; all of its students take computing as part of their programme of study. 

At London CLC, we have long been fans of the work of Ada College and the work that it does, so we were delighted to welcome Tina and her colleague John Mella to London CLC this term. 

During our conversation, it became clear that our two organisations have rather a lot in common, from our belief in the core necessity of digital education in the 21st century to our hands-on approach to learning, and even that a former CLC teaching and learning consultant and current Google software engineer Joe Halloran had been part of Ada’s first cohort of apprentices. 

The connections between London CLC and Ada College don’t end there. One of Ada’s unique features is its close connection with industry – its curriculum is designed with direct input from founding industry partners industry partners Bank of America Merrill Lynch, King, Gamesys, Deloitte, IBM and the Aldridge Foundation, and industry partnerships and opportunities for students are core to their offering. 

This direct connection between education and industry has been at the heart of our TechPathways London project. Funded as part of the Mayor of London’s Digital Talent programme, the project helps educators support young people in developing the digital skills they need to succeed in the modern workforce. 

Chatting to Tina and John, it became clear that our goals are aligned: bridging the digital skills gap between education and the 21st century job market, and providing young people with the best possible opportunity to take advantage of everything that the digital workplace has to offer. 

Watch this space for future collaborations.

We’ll leave you with some words from Joe Halloran, who we’re very happy that London CLC and Ada College have in common:

“Like some Darwinian fallacy, I am the ‘missing link’ between London CLC and Ada. During my software engineering apprenticeship, I was extremely fortunate to attend Ada to get a foundation degree in digital innovation. Before my apprenticeship I spent 10 years working for London CLC where we helped primary schools to use technology to support learning.

These two organisations, Ada and London CLC, nurture the relationship between technology and learning. Both teams are bristling with innovators. Both harbour a healthy suspicion for fads and instead take a thoughtful and long-term view of technology and its role in our society. Both have young people, with all their energy and insight, at the heart of everything they do. I am lucky to be linked to these amazing organisations and lucky to know the amazing people who make it all happen.”

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