In setting up the Get Started with Apps programme, we identified it as an area in which many young people are interested, and is also a sector rich with opportunities.

During a recent course, funded by ARM and delivered by technology education company Steer, young people worked in teams, developing soft skills such as communication and problem solving, as well as becoming more comfortable using complex software and design tools. After creating an initial app idea, then teams undertook market research to finesse the idea, and then designed and developed a prototype, which they presented to an audience of tech industry professionals.

The young people were asked to create an app that filled a 'gap in the market' or addressed a community need. From 'Animatics', which aims to help filmmakers storyboard and shot list their films, and 'Cooky‘ which helps coordinate and locate local people willing to cook free meals for free for others in need, to ‘Skills Swap,’ a service app for people to exchange their skills with others, the young people’s creative ideas ranged far and wide.

"I’m not really nervous,” said Drew, 21, shortly before his presentation of the 'Animatics' app.

This course has opened the door for me in terms of learning skill in coding. I’m going to ask Steer what opportunities there are to pitch the app to others in the future, as it is really needed.

Other young people were convinced their app had true market potential as well. Joe, 22, who helped develop the 'Skills Swap' app said:

I’ve already spoken with my friend who does coding and we will see if he likes my app and thinks he can develop it. The course has been great overall to gain skills. I’ve learned loads about coding, loads about technology and loads about how to use advanced technology. I discovered I knew more and could create more things that I thought I did before.

Joe recently accepted a full time job in construction, and hopes to use the skills he learned during the Get Started with Apps week to kick off his role in a professional and confident manner.