Published: Wed, 30 September 2015
As a long-term supporter of the global successful CoderDojo clubs, Seán Kelly MEP today (September 30th) hosted some 40 young people from Ireland and across Europe at the third annual EU Dojo in the European Parliament.
“CoderDojo, which originated in Cork, now has 860 clubs running in over 59 countries giving over 25,000 young people the opportunity to learn how to write computer code. It is a hugely important movement which I am delighted to have supported since its inception. Today, I am rallying fellow MEPs in the Parliament to join me in promoting CoderDojo in their own countries as Ambassadors for the volunteer-run clubs,” Mr Kelly said in Brussels.
Digital literacy is fast becoming an essential competency for everyone living in this connected world. According to a recent European estimate, by 2020 Europe is expected to face a shortfall of more than 900,000 technically skilled employees. Despite the need for young people to learn technical skills, few are given this opportunity.
The annual #EUDojo event in the EU Parliament hosted by MEP Sean Kelly will see 40 young European CoderDojo coders, some aged as young as 8 years old, showcase their coding and technology skills and to teach MEPs their first lines of code. At the event, the young people will teach MEPs how to create a basic HTML website.
To open the event Benedetta (9) from CoderDojo Allumiere, Italy will be playing the Anthem of Europe, “Ode to Joy”, using an instrument that she built herself with code. Also during the event, there will be an industry panel made up of members from Microsoft, Salesforce, Liberty Global & CoderDojo co-founder Bill Liao, which will be moderated by Mary Moloney, Global CEO of CoderDojo.
Sean Kelly MEP, will be encouraging MEPs in attendance to become CoderDojo Ambassadors, and to get involved in addressing the digital skills gap by pledging to start at least one Dojo each. The Pledge a Dojo campaign which begins on October 1st, aims to get as many individuals from across Europe to pledge to start new CoderDojos in their communities and to give young people in their localities the opportunity to learn to code in a fun safe and social environment.
“These coders are some of the most impressive children you will ever meet. The Dojo clubs give them confidence, social interaction, and hugely beneficial digital and coding skills which are in huge demand in the labour market. The young people attending these clubs on a weekly basis have the chance to learn how to develop computer code, websites, apps, programs, games, digital media and to explore technology. They are full of energy, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship from their experience and many MEPs in other European countries are willing to help bring this opportunity to their young citizens,” Mr Kelly added.