Louize Clarke – Helping To Plug The Digital Skills Gap

23rd August 2018


Louize Clarke is Director of ConnectTVT a Reading-based platform which aims to connect the tech and digital dots across the Thames Valley. Louize also runs GROW@GreenPark, a vibrant co-working space supporting the local start-up communities.

Inspiring others

Louize was running her own tech recruitment business and noticed that there was a skills gap locally and there was also a lack of support for those starting up digital businesses. She identified that these two factors were holding back opportunities for people and also hindering Thames Valley’s ability to nurture and support businesses with true scale-up potential.

Through ConnectTVT and the GROW community, Louize aims to re-set the start-up and entrepreneurial eco-system stimulating the growth in local skills and local businesses.

“We were delighted to be invited to be a part of National Coding week for a second year, what Jonathan and Richard are doing is so important. I also love that it is connecting the tech clusters up, all too often we live in our silos and to be able to share ideas across diverse groups is so important”.

Digital Gum

I’m a massive fan of the STEAM agenda and want to inspire those with a creative leaning that careers in digital can be awesome. National Coding Week formed week two of the first cohort of our digital skills initiative Digital Gum. Digital Gum was launched to bring digital skills to life – from social media marketing, app design and coding through to VR and 3D printing. It was designed to work with what we believe to be a talent pool that could be plugging some of the UK skills gap – the re-launchers.

I am really looking forward to being a part of National Coding week for a third year and have some more fun events planned

How We Participated Last Year

During National Coding Week we taught our attendees how to code using the BBC Micro:bit. For those who feel coding is a little alien (and with maybe more of a creative leaning) the Micro:bits easy drag and drop interface resulted in quick win success.

The light up rocket from Kitronik was a huge success, what’s not to love about creating a 5, 4, 3, 2,1 blast off message with some light up LED’s! Not only did the Digital Gum re-launchers leave with new digital skills but the Micro:bits used in the training all now live in homes with parents who are equipped to educate their children about the fun coding can bring.

We also gave our learners some HTML, CSS and Javascript taster sessions and used their WordPress digital diaries – we wanted to give them the broadest possible exposure to a number of different tools to inspire confidence in the ‘dark art’ of digital and coding.

Lunch and Learn

In addition to the Digital Gum sessions we also ran ‘lunch and learn’ taster sessions across the week to inspire more people to think about investigating coding as a career. We definitely saw a few walk away with a coding twinkle in their eye and a desire to seek more training.

National Coding Week 2018

I am really looking forward to being a part of National Coding Week for a third year and have some more fun events planned including:

Monday, September 17th

As part of National Coding Week we are running a series of events to digitally up-skill Reading. Now it’s the turn of the employer, you might be “on social media” but are you engaging your audience. Join us for some tips and tricks to help you widen your digital candidate pool

Wednesday, September 19th

Digital Dinosaurs – For Those In Danger Of Becoming Extinct – Finding your customers are talking a new language? It’s called digital. There is no better time to learn new digital skills to grow your business and win new customers. Come and learn a few tips and tricks to get your started on your digital journey. As it’s National Coding Week we thought we’d offer some digital tasters to start you on your journey.

Wednesday, September 19th

Digital Skills For Start-Ups – Taster Session ideal for those who have got an idea, desperate to launch it but are just too overwhelmed with digital to know how to start.

Throughout September

‘Technically Speaking, How Does Bitcoin Actually Work? – We have a series of weekly events running throughout September looking at Bitcoin.