Amy-Jo Laycock, Computer Science Ambassador
Amy-Jo Laycock from All Saints Catholic High School, gained a place on the Better Learners Better Workers programme as a Computer Science Ambassador. Now studying a Computer Science A Level in the sixth form, during her time as an Ambassador she developed industry and employability skills which gave her the confidence to follow her ambitions.
Team work was a key focus of Amy-Jo’s course, which proved vital at the Better Learners Better Workers software boot camp, a two-day event where students had to design and develop apps or a website. Amy-Jo’s team chose to create a website and had to use both their technical and practical skills learnt on the programme.
Amy-Jo explained, “It required team work as each individual in our team worked on a separate page or article which then had to be collected together to make our website successful. We also put our problem-solving skills to use when we did programming and learnt how hard some coding is to correct.”
The highlight of the whole programme for Amy-Jo was a visit to the Fujitsu factory. “We experienced what it is like to work in this leading IT company and took a visit through the Fujitsu warehouse to see how they built computers and network systems. Another highlight for me was learning how to create a Flappy Bird app, which was high trending at the time.”
Masterclasses at the University of Sheffield covered topics such as databases, HTML website code, the internet and email, whilst visits to employers showed how these skills are applied within the computing industry and big organisations like the NHS.
As well as gaining valuable industry experience, Amy-Jo also left the scheme with significant knowledge of the working environment and the skills needed to succeed in the workplace. “It was important to be determined in all the work that we did throughout the scheme, making things happen and constantly looking for improvements and new ways to solve issues.”
On a personal level, the Better Learners Better Workers scheme has improved Amy-Jo’s self-confidence. “This course has also had a personal impact on my self- confidence which allows me to present a strong, professional and positive image.”
Amy-Jo is now enrolled at All Saints Sixth Form and hopes to go to university to study Computer Science or Mathematics and become part of the IT Industry, or work in Marketing. She also has high aspirations to work within the Royal Air Force as a command and controls officer which would use some of the skills taken on board from the Better Learners Better Workers programme.
The skills that Amy-Jo has learnt have prepared her to secure future careers and to ensure her ambitions are achieved. She comments: “This has been a life changing experience for me enabling new careers and friendships.”