Sunderland has a bright future in the digital world – Katie Bulmer-Cooke

Computer software coding.
Computer software coding.
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If you’re a regular reader of my column you’ll know that I love to hear positive stories about things that are happening in the city and stories of my fellow Mackems doing well, so I read the Echo’s story about Sunderland’s new digital apprenticeship training academy, Code, with great interest.

Businesses and opportunities like this are exactly what Sunderland needs, and will certainly help improve employment opportunities for those seeking success in an ever-expanding sector.

Only last week I was chatting to my daughter about what she wanted to be when she grows up.

Her first choice is a footballer, so naturally we had the talk about needing a back- up plan just incase.

Our chat then turned to her interest in making YoTube videos and all things social media and website based, and so we discussed her interest in all things digital.

From my experience in business, especially in the digital sector, I think that skills, qualifications and experience in things such as videography, editing, website development, copy writing, social media and design would stand anyone in a great position for a job in the majority of companies and equally provide the skills to go it alone and start your own business.

Our world is changing all the time, and as a result, so are the needs of businesses and the skill sets required to be attractive to an employer.

With this in mind, I’d encourage all young people to at least explore the options associated with this industry and the benefits of the practical experience offered through an apprenticeship.

My company is currently going through the recruitment process and we’ve been so impressed with what we’ve seen from apprentices, specifically their ability to understand the work place and work independently.

For me, nothing beats experience and hands-on experience, it really is what employers are looking for.

While I agree that the traditional education route is excellent, gaining experience in the real-world is a must.

Whether it’s through work experience, voluntary work or an apprenticeship, the ability to transfer text-book to every day employment is key and will serve young people well in creating a very bright future.

It’s brilliant news for Sunderland that new opportunities, such as those on offer at Code, are available. Who knows, our city might even produce the next Mark Zuckerberg!