Software academy set up by Cardiff University and the Welsh Government

An academy to train and educate the next generation of software engineers in Wales has been set up by Cardiff University and the Welsh Government.

The National Software Academy, run in partnership with the Alacrity Foundation in Newport, comes in the form of a three-year degree programme specifically aimed at tackling the shortage of software professionals in Wales.

It’ll be delivered at ‘Platform’, the home of the Welsh Government’s new digital innovation hub in Newport – part of a wider initiative to regenerate Newport as a centre for technology and to create closer links with the Cardiff region.

According to research undertaken by Welsh Government, industries in Wales demand 2,700 qualified software engineers each year. But this has not been met due to the lack of skilled graduates from universities.

Economy Minister Edwina Hart said: “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics skills are vitally important to the Welsh economy, and this programme fully supports our vision of attracting and building capability in this area.

“We are a pro-business government, committed to working with the sector to find practical solutions to Wales’ economic needs. I am delighted we are launching the National Software Academy because it will ensure that our graduates entering this highly specialist profession have the right skills and training to hit the ground running.”

Professor Karen Holford, pro vice-chancellor, College of Physical Sciences and Engineering, said: “When we talk to our partners in business and industry, they tell us that they need more graduates leaving university with the right skills for the 21st century workplace. They need graduates with more ‘on the job’ experience and interaction with businesses throughout their studies.

“The National Software Academy will address these issues and provide our students with a distinctive educational experience that ensures they stand out from the crowd. Students will graduate as highly employable leaders in their field, with the vocational edge needed in today’s workplace.”

Professor Simon Gibson, chairman of the Alacrity Foundation, added: “From our experience, it became clear that the academic community urgently needed to produce a new curriculum with a much tighter awareness of the needs of employers.

“Through a strong partnership with Cardiff University, the Alacrity Foundation has assisted in creating a course aligned with the enormous opportunities that continue to emerge from the world of computing and networking. The reaction of industry and potential students, coupled with the success of the pilot year, endorses the decision to innovate in the teaching of software engineering. We applaud Cardiff University for having the foresight to create the National Software Academy.”

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