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WIDJET Q&A with Dr Daisy Walsh, Head of Technology

 

Bath College is running a brand new course: WIDJET. WiDJET’s focus is to get Women into Digital Jobs, Education and Training. We spoke to Dr Daisy Walsh, Head of Technology at Bath College all about the new programme:
 

What is WIDJET?
WIDJET (Women into Digital Jobs, Education and Training) is a new skills programme from the West of England Combined Authority, funded by the Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, to help and support women to find jobs in digital roles.
It’s a play on the word ‘widget’ as in our sessions, we will be working with robots. Bath College is running a free taster session that will give people a chance to experience programming, which if they enjoy, they can then sign up to a free 6 session course to develop their skills further.
 

Why is it important for women to be involved in digital jobs?
If you look at a cross-section of IT/computing jobs, you see that it is still very male dominated. That’s not to say that there aren’t lots of very successful females, but we need to keep at it and keep promoting these opportunities to women. Our WIDJET sessions could be for women who have already forged a career in another discipline, perhaps you think it’s too late, but it’s not! Computing roles are vast, and programming is a key skill that employers are looking for. Our free session offers a sound base so that you can progress onto a specific course after if you wish.
 

Tell us a little bit about your background.
I am heading WIDJET at Bath College because I was accidentally introduced to Computing and IT through a ‘Women in New Technology’ scheme 30 years ago, which focused on machine programming languages. At the time, I was a Secondary School Science Teacher. After learning programming I worked for Avon and Somerset Police as a programmer before moving to Bath College to teach IT. I am now the Head of Technology at Bath College and have just completed my PhD in Education Management.
 

What do you have planned for the sessions at Bath College?
After the first taster session, the course will focus on basic programming principles, getting robots to move, getting them to respond to sensors and interacting with the environment. At the end of the 6 sessions the participants will have the fundamentals of programming and could look to pursue a career in web development, app development and general programming.
 

How can women get more info/apply?
To sign up to the taster session on 18th June, email me, Daisy Walsh at WIDJET@bathcollege.ac.uk or call 01225 328533
 
 

 
To look at a whole range of Computing/IT courses at Bath College, click here.
 

Apprenticeships, News

Bath College Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair returns this March

 

Young people will get the opportunity to meet potential apprenticeship providers and employers at Bath College’s annual Apprenticeships and Jobs Fair.
 
The event is taking place at the Assembly Rooms on 27th March between 12pm and 5pm, giving local businesses the chance to showcase their vacancies to local people.
 

This year’s lead sponsors are Bath Building Society, B&NES, Media Clash, Creative Bath and Curo, all who will be found in the Octagon offering apprenticeship opportunities.
 

Last year’s event was attended by over 1000 young people, with a number of these going on to secure positions at local companies after attending and making the most of networking opportunities.
 

Ben King, a Bath College student and apprentice at Bath Building Society said: “For me, an apprenticeship is better than going into a job from uni as I’m building my skillset now while I’m at College.
 

“I’m in a business environment, answering phones, working in an office, learning the skills on the job.”
 

Katherine Banks at Bath Building Society explained the importance of apprentices: “We really like to help people to grow. As they’re younger, we can develop their skills and mould them into what’s required.”
 

Wessex Water have four apprentices working for them, including Kuani Blow, who was studying Business at Bath College, he said that “I found hands on learning a beneficial approach for me, and I love doing the business apprenticeship at Wessex Water”.
 

Event organiser Lucy Beattie said: “This is an excellent opportunity to come and find out what’s on offer locally and nationally.
 

“Companies exhibiting are offering some really exciting apprenticeships ranging from Level 2 right up to degree level.
 

“It’s a great chance to explore the different sectors and growth areas for our region, whether you’re interested in an engineering career, joining the forces, childcare or insurance management.
 

“The fair keeps growing year on year and we have lots of new employers joining us. We’re looking forward to welcoming 16 to 18-year-olds at the start of their career paths.
 

“Or if you’re already in a job and thinking of a career change, come along to find out about the different routes available to re-train.”
 
The event is taking place on 27th March at the Assembly Rooms and is free to attend.
 

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