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Code4000, winner of the Vodaphone Non-Profit TechStarter 2019 award, is seeking support to start-up in Scotland

It’s the same story everywhere you go – the simplest means of reducing reoffending is to find work for ex- offenders, and where better than the fast-growing tech industry. 

By teaching prisoners coding and helping to find them jobs on release, Code4000 is helping to reduce reoffending, and giving offenders the opportunity to contribute positively to society and the economy. 

Working in partnership with HMP Edinburgh, Code4000 is seeking your support in Scotland to start-up the first Scottish coding workshop. They are already on their way toward the target of £150,000 with an initial grant from Skyscanner. 

Operations Director in Scotland, Rod Anderson said, “Getting such a big player like Skyscanner onboard has given us a real boost and now means our first prison coding workshop in Scotland is a very real possibility. Being from Scotland myself, I know that our tech industry will be keen to support a programme like this that benefits Scottish companies and communities. It’s an exciting prospect for tech companies to be able to grow their own diverse pool of talent and future proof their business to meet the needs of the next generation”. 

Scottish Prison Service will be providing the environment and staff for this exciting expansion and Code4000 is seeking funding to purchase and install the necessary technical equipment to bring the workshop to life

Code4000 Founder and Chairman, Michael Taylor was initially inspired by an established American prison coding programme called The Last Mile which now runs in 5 US states. From its inception in 2017, Code4000 is expanding quickly and already operates in two UK prisons, with further plans to have launched in another 5 by the end of this year. 

Having built strong links within the tech and fintech industry, Code4000 was proud to announce that graduate Josh will take up a position with Metro Bank on release in July. In his blog post Josh says, “I’m absolutely delighted and cannot wait to join the team at Metro and give back to an employer who has given me an immense opportunity to redeem my working life after more than two years in prison.” 

Winners of the prestigious Vodaphone Techstarter Award 2019, Code4000 is being well supported in the UK to extend the opportunity to learn to code to young offender institutions and female prisons, as well as additional male prisons. 

Code4000’s ambition is bigger than just Scotland and the UK however. Working in conjunction with tech partners such as GitHub, they are building an open-sourced, offline coding curriculum that can be used in any prison coding project, wherever they may be based. Code4000 have already helped similar projects get off the ground in France, Australia and New Zealand. As Michel Taylor says, “the open source platform will be made available to anyone that wants to learn the art of coding, anywhere. Whether that’s prisons with no internet connection, or places with poor or unreliable internet connection in the developing world”. 

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