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David Cameron takes part in Hour of Code Week

Prime Minister David Cameron joins a class from Eastlea Community School in East London at Downing Street, as they took part in completing an hour-long Minecraft coding tutorial during ‘Hour of Code’ week, London.Michael Bowles/REX Features

Prime Minister David Cameron took part in an hour-long coding tutorial yesterday as part of Hour of Code Week.

Launched in 2013, Hour of Code Week aims to reach 10 million people in the UK this year, with over 2,000 schools having already signed up to take part.

Both Cameron and education secretary Nicky Morgan got involved by completing lines of code during a Minecraft tutorial at Number 10.

Cameron said: “It’s crucial that we give our young people the skills they need to get on so they can compete for the best jobs of the future. In this digital age, coding matters, which is why initiatives such as the Hour of Code are so important and why we’ve embedded it in our national curriculum.”

Lack of understanding

The Prime Minister’s comments follow the publication of a UK survey of over 1,000 British parents, which found that 85% of respondents don’t know how to code and 43% would be unlikely to encourage their child to pursue a career in technology.

Avid Larizadeh, head of Hour of Code UK, said: “Coding and the digital world will be central to our kids’ future and it’s important that we encourage and help them to build up these skills in a fun and engaging way.”

It’s not just children who are being encouraged to take part in the Hour of Code initiative, a number of large corporations are also set to introduce it to their teams this year, including the BBC, Barclays, Microsoft, Samsung and Sky.