Kurtis’ skills scoop a Tameside HACK award

A STALYBRIDGE student has helped crack the code by scooping an award in a computer challenge.

Kurtis Hall

Kurtis Hall was one of the lucky ones to take a prize in the Tameside HACK after showing his skills at developing a digital strategy.

Talented young coders from Tameside College and Clarendon Sixth Form College all took part in the competition.

But 19-year-old Kurtis, a computing student, won a special recognition award for his contribution to his team’s pitch to the judges in the HACK6 edition of the event.

The Tameside HACK is an annual two-day coding event organised by Tameside Council which is aimed at giving young people the skills to gain a career in the digital sector.

Teams take part each year with the aim of developing a solution to a series of challenges.

Kurtis was not the only student from Stalybridge to win an award as West Hill high school pupil Oliver Gaskell was named best individual HACKer, as he was last year.

With the digital and technology sector expanding nearly three times faster than the rest of the UK economy, coding and digital skills are now some of the most valuable for employees to have.

The ‘Digital Flame’ team, comprising 17-year-olds Luke Shore and Ashley Taggart, landed the Brother Challenge Award after producing a website, app and robot to help Brother UK, one of the contest’s sponsors, track staff members’ health and satisfaction levels.

The robot talks to the Guide Bridge workforce about their health and happiness. They won vouchers and a guaranteed interview if they ever apply for a job at Brother.

Luke, who hails from Gee Cross, Hyde, said: “The idea behind our project was that it would help Brother UK monitor staff members’ overall happiness and stress levels in detail.

“This could be used for lots of different things such as improving the workplace, staff training and monitoring efficiency.

“One of the judges even said that our project could be implemented right away in a real-life situation.

“The competition was really fun and I’m pleased that we managed to win the challenge.”

Jennie Arnold, curriculum leader for computing at Tameside College and Clarendon Sixth Form College, said: “I was blown away by how well our students have done in the Tameside Hack.

“The level of commitment and quality that Luke, Ashley, Kurtis and the other students put into their ideas was fantastic and I am proud they were rewarded for this.

“Coding is now a prestigious and well-paid career path, so they are very lucky to be taking part in this type of competition. Congratulations to them.”

And Cllr Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council’s Executive Member for Lifelong Learning, said: “I’m delighted that HACK6 was another successful event with three times as many young people involved and some great prizes from the sponsors, including some that could help them into employment.

“Our Tameside HACK is a great initiative that stimulates interest in coding and computing and raises aspirations, as well as helping our young people get the skills needed to enjoy prosperous careers, laying the right foundations for economic growth in the borough.”

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