Change at top as CodeClan CEO departs Scotland's digital skills academy

Melinda Matthews-Clarkson to step down after five years leading CodeClan, the Scottish digital skills academy.
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Following the appointment of a successor later this month, Matthews-Clarkson plans to take a sabbatical back in her native United States before pursuing a new position within the Scottish technology ecosystem during 2023.

During her tenure, the CodeClan team has grown from some 20 people to more than 60, while turnover has grown from approximately £1 million to close to £3m, though Matthews-Clarkson says it is the digital academy’s graduates that is her real measure of success.

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CodeClan is now in a solid state, we navigated our way through a challenging pandemic, and the ecosystem here is hungry for skilled tech individuals, so I felt it was a good time to pass the baton to a new leader,” she said.

“The best thing has been seeing the students graduate, get their dream jobs, and then seeing them being promoted, buying homes, and starting families - that’s a hard yardstick to beat.

“As a not-for-profit social enterprise, we have weathered many storms over the last five years, facing them with a growth mindset, collaborative problem solving, and a determination to see things through. I could not be prouder to be part of our amazing team.

“Five years ago, I put a quote on the wall of CodeClan’s Edinburgh campus, which said, ‘Will it be easy? Nope, but worth it? Absolutely.’ Now I understand that quote applies to all that study and work at CodeClan.

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“It is a unique environment that allows people to grow, learn and connect with passionate people around technology,” she added.

Melinda Matthews-Clarkson, who is standing down as CEO of CodeClan. Picture: Erika StevensonMelinda Matthews-Clarkson, who is standing down as CEO of CodeClan. Picture: Erika Stevenson
Melinda Matthews-Clarkson, who is standing down as CEO of CodeClan. Picture: Erika Stevenson

Founded in 2015, CodeClan’s mission is to bridge the digital skills gap and develop a new generation of digital professionals in Scotland. The venture focuses on equipping students with industry-led training with a view to securing employment.

The academy has supported more than 2,000 people in gaining skills, working with in excess of 400 industry partners across Scotland’s commercial and public sectors. Earlier this year, CodeClan Youth Academy, a partnership with investment firm Baillie Gifford, was established, aimed at giving young people a real-world experience of how a technology-driven business operates.

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