An upskilling project with a local manufacturing company has led to coding educators The Developer Academy to join Skills Bank, which is a Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) project.

Founded this February, this startup coding business focuses on retraining local people for a job in tech to around their current work and other commitments.

The company has been working in this capacity with employees at a local manufacturing company, so that they make their own custom software and tech solutions to improve production and productivity.

“It’s because of this work that we have joined Skills Bank which is fantastic because this project provides employers with up to 70% funding for training that they can use to help their business grow,” says Ben Atha, founder of The Developer Academy.

Skills Bank is a flexible pot of funding that can provide bespoke tailored training which directly meets the needs of employers and they can choose the training provider they use.

“The flexibility of our training is really important and it’s designed to fit around people’s work or other commitments,” Atha explains. Training is provided through an online system, which means our students can learn at their own pace.

“What’s really key to our success is that we also provide face to face support from experienced instructors at our group training sessions, which happen in the evenings and at weekends.”

The company is also helping to bridge the local digital skills gap because they only teach the coding skills and languages that they know local employers want.

It’s recently had its first re-employment success with one of the Academy’s graduates, who after just four months’ training with them, has got a job with a local tech company.

Due to this growth, The Developer Academy has hired Neil Bizzell as Director of Education. Neil is a hugely experienced Computer Science teacher, Infrastructure Engineer and IT Consultant and will be leading on all education aspects of the business, including the six-member instructor team, and the delivery of upcoming contracts with Sheffield City Council and other local companies.

“Our growth is rapid. We’re seeing really high demand from employers for the skills we are teaching,” says Atha. “We’re looking forward to expanding our offering to provide bespoke tailored coding training, which directly meets the needs of employers and will help their business grow.”