Developing a supportive platform to link industry mentors and young people getting started in the digital industry.

GATHER is a new and unique “learning community operating system”: working behind the scenes to power MadLab’s highly-social, grassroots-powered online digital skills programme; propelling those in underserved communities across Greater Manchester (and beyond) from “no previous experience” through to junior-level employment and apprenticeship in the tech industry.

During the project, 100+ learners will be engaged in flexible, self-paced learning for three to six months. During this time, they will be provided mentoring, technical, and pastoral support 24/7 through the platform and community hub. They will take part in up to five project-based modules covering foundational software developer skills – from programming fundamentals through to data management and web frameworks – alongside live-streamed workshops, short-form coding challenges, pair and group programming, and mini-projects.

By closely following each learners’ progress, understanding their preferences and needs, and providing direct timely support at key touchpoints, the MadLab team expects to maintain a retention rate of 80%+, with the majority employed in a technical role within six months of completion.