Published: Mon, 17 October 2016
Seán Kelly MEP (Ireland South) will host the fourth annual EU Dojo coding workshop in conjunction with Cork-born CoderDojo, in the European Parliament, Brussels on Tuesday (18th October) to coincide with EU Code Week. The EU Dojo will see young CoderDojo members, including those from Ireland, teach MEPs and policymakers how to write computer code, raising awareness of the non-profit organisation’s free network of coding clubs for youth.
“In 2013, I hosted the first ever EU Dojo event in the European Parliament. Back then, CoderDojo was little over one year old and was active in 10 member states. Now, there are over 1,010 clubs in 65 countries, 750 of those clubs are Europe-based.
“Coding clubs are not just about computer lessons. They are ideas factories and a launch pad for young entrepreneurs across Europe. Labour market needs will be increasingly technological in the future. Right now, 55 percent of EU citizens only have basic digital skills. It is clear we provide our citizens with the right education and training, such as coding, to equip them for greater career opportunities in our increasingly technologically dependent world,” said MEP Kelly, a former schoolteacher.
Mr Kelly also launched the CoderDojo MEP Ambassador initiative in the European Parliament, which aims to promote coding skills to young people around Europe with the help of an MEP Ambassador in each of the 28 Member States.
EU Code Week 2016 will also see Europe’s network of 65,000 public libraries promote their services in local communities.
“Today, those visiting many of our public libraries have the opportunity to use computers and even learn to code as the perfect location for a coding club.
“Opening up our libraries to coding clubs is a positive idea as libraries are an important learning resource in a community. Encouraging citizens of all ages to learn the language of code will empower them, not only with a highly valuable skill that will help expand their career opportunities but also support entrepreneurial thinking,” Mr Kelly added.
CoderDojo, founded by James Whelton and entrepreneur Bill Liao in Cork in 2011, was last week awarded the prestigious European Citizen’s Prize in the European Parliament for the foundation’s work in bringing citizens together, as nominated by MEP Kelly.