Jam Coding - MK College

Jam Coding

Jam Coding and MK College Team Up to Empower the Next Generation

Katie-Jo Gracie, Regional Director at Jam Coding for Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire, describes working with MK College students as a ‘no brainer.’

Jam Coding’s involvement with the College began in January 2023, when Katie-Jo was invited to deliver a talk on diversity and inclusion within the computing industry.

Since then, Jam Coding – who are one of the largest providers of computing education in the UK – have hired three students from the college on work placements after being impressed by the high calibre of students.

The students are actively engaged in Jam Coding’s after-school clubs, typically supporting with one or two sessions each week alongside a qualified coach.

Katie-Jo said, “For the students, it is often their first-ever work placement — a significant milestone in their careers. Our goal is to equip them with a wide range of skills, enhancing their CVs and bolstering their career prospects.

When asked about her experience of working with the College, Katie-Jo says it has surpassed expectations.

“Working with MK College has been a smooth and efficient experience. They’ve been responsive, communicated well and followed through on what they say. What’s more, the quality of students they have put forward for interviews has been amazing.”

Katie-Jo added that the College makes working with its students straightforward, adding, “The College staff regularly check in to make sure everything is running smoothly but to be honest, we haven’t needed much support at all.

“The web-based software is simple to use. Our students log the hours they work to secure their course credit, and we then have the option to provide feedback. It gives me confidence knowing that there is an open and effective line of communication should any issues crop up.”

Jam Coding pays a living wage to all its staff, including interns, and is dedicated to being a disability-confident employer while also providing flexible part-time working patterns.

She added, “Amazingly, almost every student who has applied to us has disclosed a disability, and with the right support in place, they have all achieved incredible success. Their communication and self-advocacy skills are truly impressive, reflecting the kind of maturity we value in our interns.”

When asked what she would say to other local employers considering working with MK College students, Katie-Jo had this advice.

“Taking on student interns, especially for small businesses, can be nerve-wracking if it’s your first time. At Jam Coding, we’ve been doing it for years, and it has proven to be of great value to everyone involved. Working with students means you find people who are genuinely eager to learn and enhance their CV, rather than those merely working for a pay check.

“Witnessing the extraordinary growth in our interns over the last term has been truly inspiring. Observing how they inspire the primary kids in the classroom, becoming exceptional role models, is incredibly rewarding.

“I wholeheartedly recommend working with MK College—the calibre of their students, the swift and efficient communication—it’s an absolute no-brainer in my book.”

For more information on working with MK College students, contact the Work Experience team: workexperienceteam@mkcollege.ac.uk