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‘Amazon Future Engineer’ launches in the UK to help children and young adults from low-income backgrounds build careers in Computer Science.

The UK needs an additional 38,000 workers with computer science-related skills, including 21,000 computer science graduates, to meet labour demands every year – or the economy could lose out on an estimated £33 billion a year by 2030, according to new research by Capital Economics.

To help close that gap, Amazon is launching Amazon Future Engineer in the UK – a comprehensive childhood-to-career programme to inspire, educate, and enable children and young adults to try computer science. By supporting the recruitment and training of 50 secondary school computer science teachers and over 200 ‘Careers Leaders’, launching robotics workshops for 10,000 children and creating other opportunities to experience computer science, Amazon Future Engineer is set to reach more than one million children and young people across the UK over the next two years.

Through Amazon Future Engineer, ten thousand primary school pupils will have the opportunity to take part in free robotics workshops at Amazon fulfilment centres across the UK over the next two years, learning to program robots which use similar technology to what is used by Amazon to fulfil customer orders. The workshops, created alongside Fire Tech, are designed to give children first-hand experience of how technology works in the real world and have been accredited by the British Science Association. Amazon will also embark on a road trip across the UK, bringing the robotics workshops to primary schools around the country.

Additionally, Amazon has helped create an interactive dance-themed online coding tutorial together with non-profit organisation Code.org, featuring songs from leading artists, with the aim of reaching a million children in the UK. Globally, tens of millions of children and young people have already participated in Hour of Code tutorials since 2013. One hour of learning through Hour of Code is proven to have a positive impact on students, with a significant increase in the number of students saying they like computer science and perform better in computer science tasks.

Speaking about the programme, Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon, said, “Research shows the UK needs 21,000 more computer science graduates on average, every year, to meet the demands of the digital economy.”

“By making computer science skills more widely accessible from childhood to career, we hope Amazon Future Engineer will inspire and empower young people, regardless of their background, to take up careers in computer science.”

RT Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP, Secretary of State for Education added, “Today’s school pupils will go on to do jobs that don’t even exist yet because the world of technology and computing is progressing so quickly.”

“This is why we’re making sure our schools and teachers equip young people with the skills and knowledge they’ll need to be successful in the future by expanding our IoT programme and investing an extra £14bn in schools over the next three years.”

“The work of Amazon Future Engineer will support us in just that by harnessing  Amazon’s reach and know-how to make sure that pupils from all backgrounds can access a cutting edge education and I look forward to seeing it in action.”

Amazon Future Engineer is part of the Amazon in the Community programme, which aims to ensure more children and young adults have the resources and skills they need to build their best and brightest futures, especially those from low-income communities in the areas where Amazon has a physical presence.

You can find out about Amazon Future Engineer at http://www.amazonfutureengineer.co.uk, and more about the Amazon in the Community programme at https://www.aboutamazon.co.uk/amazon-in-the-community.