More than 17,000 kids join coding event to prepare for the future

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Code Club Australia today announced that more than 17,000 kids have now signed up to the July 20, Moonhack hackathon, a global event encouraging every child to learn how to code so they are prepared for the future.

"Our mission is to ensure that all children are given the chance to learn to code. Our Moonhack campaign is an opportunity to set a world record, with our aim being to get as many kids as possible coding over a twenty four hour period," Code Club Australia, General Manager, Dr Louise Baker said.

"We want to ensure that every child in Australia is given an opportunity to shape their world and their future. Central to our mission is providing teacher training so that educators are empowered to offer a relevant and inclusive digital education to their students," Dr Baker said.

The World Economic Forum estimates that by 2020, more than 5 million jobs in 15 major developed countries will be lost to automation. Within Australia it has been predicted that 40% of jobs will become automated within the next 10-20 years.[1]

"We cannot afford to wait, we must ensure that every young Australian is afforded the same opportunity to be competitive and have the technological skills to compete in the global market place," Dr Louise Baker added.

We have more than 17,000 Australian kids registered with 49% girls. 67% of those registered from a diverse number of countries, from USA, Bangladesh, Canada, Israel, NZ, India, Croatia, Austria, Germany, Brazil, Ireland, Hungary and Italy.

"Last year more than 28,500 kids from around the globe participated in this free event and this year we are hoping for a new record," Dr Baker said.

"The economy of the future will rely heavily on people with specialist knowledge and skills in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), but in addition, our children will require skills in entrepreneurship, art and design. Many children, particularly those in regional and remote areas, aren't able to access the skills they need for the future," Dr Louise Baker added.

The reality of ensuring every Australian child has access to these new skills, particularly in regional and rural areas is critical when you consider reports from The Foundation for Young Australians which has identified that in the near future approximately 90% of jobs in Australia will require computer skills. [2]

Brad Delamare, CEO of leading Australian Fin-tech Hub, Tank Stream Labs said, "Digital disruption has rapidly changed the world but also provide a new world of entrepreneurial opportunities. For the next generation of Australians to be competitive, we must urgently invest in the tech skills needed to compete in the new global market. Code Club is about ensuring no Australian child will be left behind in the future.

Jackie Coates, Head of the Telstra Foundation, Code Club Australia's founding funder, encouraged parents across Australia to get on board and organise a Moonhack mission control in their homes or local schools.

"Digital technology is changing every aspect of our lives and computer coding is the language of the 21stCentury. At the Telstra Foundation we're passionate building the skills our kids need to prepare them for the jobs of the future," Ms Coates said.

"The best thing about Code Club is that it breaks down the myth that computer coding is hard and complex – it's actually fun and through Moonhack something parents can do with their kids. As a mum of tweens, I've been able to get involved in coding with my kids through Code Club's unique approach – and we've had a blast doing it," Ms Coates added.

"Code Club Australia would like to thank their founding funder, The Telstra Foundation, for their on-going support. The Foundation has played a pivotal role in shaping Code Club and in helping us increase digital literacy amongst Australian youth," Dr Baker said.

Coding is a vital skill for children to learn to help them shape their rapidly changing future. "The Future of Work", a report by the Regional Australia Institute, estimated that 1 in 2 future jobs will   require "skills such as programming, software development and skills to build digital technology".

"We need to put greater emphasis on the need for coding, and on the anniversary of the first moon landing (20 July), we want to get tens of thousands of parents, teachers, communities, and most importantly, children, enthusiastic about coding," Dr Louise Baker concluded.

[1] Committee for Economic Development of Australia. (2015,June). Australia's Future Workforce? Retrieved from: http://adminpanel.ceda.com.au/FOLDERS/Service/Files/Documents/26792~Futureworkforce_June2015.pdf

[2] Foundation for Young Australians. (2015). The New Work Order. Retrieved from: http://www.fya.org.au/wp-content/ uploads/2015/08/fya-future-of-work-report-final-lr.pdf

 
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