Barclays bank launches kids' coding site

Barclays bank launches a coding app for children and offers weekly classes to increase its credentials in IT-based service provision

Barclays bank has launched a coding app aimed at children and is offering weekly classes in its latest initiative to increase its credentials in IT-based service provision.

Through its Digital Eagles project – with tech-savvy Barclays staff helping customers in branches – the bank has launched its Code Playground, which uses the Scratch 1.4 program.

As bank customers increasingly use technologies such as mobile and internet applications to bank, companies such as Barclays want to be seen as leaders in digital banking.

Research for Barclays found 77% of parents think it important to teach children coding skills.

Through the Code Playground children and adults can learn coding online or in branch and get help from Barclays Digital Eagles. 

The Barclays research revealed that 24% of British school children say computing skills such as learning to code is their favourite school subject.

Community IT learning

Steven Roberts, strategic transformation director at Barclays, said the bank’s Digital Eagles work in local communities to help people to learn IT skills, from sending an email, skyping family or learning how to bank online. Since the launch of the Digital Eagle project in 2013, over 12,000 Digital Eagle positions have been created.

The bank has retrained staff to take in the roles.

“In 2015, we’re now expanding that support to include coding, either online or in-branch – so whether you’re seven or one hundred and seven, you can take advantage of the opportunity to learn the emerging language of the new digital economy. We want to make sure we leave no-one behind as we transform Barclays into a truly digital business,” said Barclays. 

Barclays has launched an interactive tool to increase consumer IT knowledge. The Digital Driving License app is endorsed by City & Guilds and designed by Digital Eagles and Digital partner brands such as Microsoft and IBM. 

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Kudos to Barclays. Not sure its credentials really need to be boosted, but they sure look good from here. Everyone in business, especially in IT, needs to mentor and train the next generation of kids. That's not only a good PR move, it's great for the kids and essential for our survival. Smart coding should never be a lost art here nor something that must be done offshore.
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