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Business & Economy

Code and The Office Rocks collaborate to drive digital skills

Sunderland-based content marketer The Office Rocks is collaborating with national digital skills academy Code to support the upskilling of the next generation of digital rock stars.

Code works with companies of all sizes throughout England to upskill their staff, supporting firms to find the best way to use their Apprenticeship Levy.

It provides a range of accredited training solutions around digital skills, such as digital support technicians, cybersecurity technologists, software developers and network engineers.

And, after securing a three-year contract, as a part of the ESF North East Workforce Skills Programme, Code has recruited the team at The Office Rocks to drive their digital marketing campaign.

With founder and managing director Laura Middleton at the helm, The Office Rocks creates and delivers successful and highly targeted marketing campaigns.

With clients including Tesco, Mamas & Papas, Nike, Boohoo, Paperchase and Sainsburys, The Office Rocks has successfully created and grown a host of online communities across their portfolio, with a weekly reach of eight million-plus and driving more than £33 million to clients in the process.

Laura said: “Over the years, we have developed a number of online communities across a range of genres.

“These platforms have seen exceptional growth, the stats speak volumes and we are delighted to now be working with the highly-skilled and passionate team over at Code to further grow their digital marketing capabilities.”

As an established and trusted provider, Code has supported an array of employers across the region with upskilling workforces and key employers such as Northumbrian Water  and Seriös Group.

Laura added: “Through our expertise in driving community engagement, we will be utilising a host of methods to ensure we are reaching both employers and also employees via creative content creation, predominantly through TikTok, which we’ve seen provide phenomenal impact and outcomes for our clients – we also want to inspire young employees to make the approach to their employers and ask to be upskilled.”

Code is the apprenticeships division of Rebuyer, which works with companies across the UK to recycle their old IT equipment to protect the environment.

The company is also behind Donate Digital, a long-term project to bridge the digital divide in the North East that came to fruition during lockdown for children who didn’t have devices to access the internet.

Simon Howatson, founder of Code, said: “We are delighted to join forces with The Office Rocks to help drive our digital campaign.

“Laura is a passionate advocate for digital skills and their creative approach to community development and engagement is a great asset for Code to have on board as we work in collaboration with consortium partners to upskill the region, through the North East Workforce Skills programme.

“Companies are increasingly recognising the importance of digital skills in their workforce and as specialists in digital training, we are looking forward to unlocking the opportunity to drive business efficiency and effectiveness across organisations through digital training, alongside ensuring the physical and mental wellbeing of their people.”

The North East Workforce Skills Programme is a European Social Fund (ESF) project, delivered by a consortium of further and higher education providers in the North East.

Led by the University of Sunderland, consortium partners alongside Code include Access Training, MTC Training, Newcastle College Group, SETA and TDR Training.

Tim Pain, assistant director – enterprise & innovation, at the University of Sunderland, added: “We are delighted to be the lead partner on the ESF North East Workforce Skills programme and working with passionate partners such as Code.

“The ESF North East Workforce Skills Programme is committed to upskilling and retraining employed people, to enable them to take on more responsibility or a promotion, sustaining them within the workforce or moving them on to higher paid employment.

“In addition to this, by funding the training, employers will be able to sustain and grow within their marketplace, which can only benefit the North East economy.”

Worth £14,862,142, the programme aims to support more than 17,500 employees across Tyne and Wear and Northumberland by September 2023, through highly tailored training and development solutions for businesses, from learning basic skills right up to degree level.