22nd May 2014: Cardiff Central AM, Jenny Rathbone, was amongst those in attendance at yesterday’s formal launch of Yard Academy, a technical training company formed by Cardiff based digital agency Yard Digital. Opening the speeches at the event, Jenny talked about the positive impact the initiative was likely to have on the local economy, as well as talking about her experiences having witnessed director Paul Newbury working with pupils at Corpus Christi High School as part of a voluntary computer club.
The event was well attended and focused on how the digital economy is a key driver for growth in Wales and is a priority sector. Despite this the event identified a lack of information and understanding about career opportunities within the digital sector, and an obvious skills gap resulting in a shortage of qualified candidates. As an industry that is finding it increasing difficult to recruit, this initiative is working to not only bridge the current skills gap but to ensure the country has a rich source of digital talent coming through.
In this regard, founder and director Paul Newbury has been working with local school Corpus Christi High School to run a computer club aimed at introducing pre-GCSE students to coding and other advanced IT skills. Additionally, Yard Academy have also committed to sponsoring these students through some of the more formal qualifications the company provides, with some students having already started working towards the BCS ECDL qualifications and one Year 10 student working towards Yard Academy’s bespoke qualification in Web Analytics.
The main presentation was given by Paul Newbury, founder and director of Yard Academy, who commented: “We’re genuinely aiming to break the mould a bit with Yard Academy by providing quality technical training that is taught and supported by genuine experts in the IT field. It is this approach that we believe will enable our learners to benefit from an immersive training experience that provides much more than just teaching to a specification.”
As part of the launch, Yard Academy were also showcasing their bespoke qualifications in Web Analytics Systems & Principles, which consist of a number of courses written by Paul himself. On this, he added:
“Our digital agency business, Yard Digital, has a number of expert staff in the field of web analytics, but we struggle to employ qualified candidates and so have ended up training all of our consultants ourselves, in house. This experience, coupled with training some of the leading businesses in the country, led to me creating a formal set of qualifications in web analytics that will become the benchmark for future entrants to the industry and also ensure that there are more skilled candidates available to agencies and businesses alike.”
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About Yard Academy
Yard Academy is a technical training initiative founded by Cardiff based digital agency, Yard Digital. Yard Academy provides a catalogue of training services ranging from Computer & Online Basics to advanced technical training and development skills. Yard Academy also provides a range of qualifications in Web Analytics Systems & Principles which have been written by industry veteran Paul Newbury and are delivered exclusively by Yard Academy.
About Corpus Christi High School
Corpus Christi High School is part of a family of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Cardiff. Corpus Christi is a busy, thriving comprehensive 11-16 school of over 1,000 pupils.