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Learnable.com has launched a promo targeting students interested in learning to code, with 10,000 free places available on a first-come-best-dressed basis.

General manager Kyle Vermuelen says that the registrations will give students three years' access to courses to “learn to develop and design websites, apps and more”. Based on the normal enrolment fees for the courses on offer, the company is putting a price tag of $AU10 million on the giveaway.

The company cites widespread reports that Australian companies have difficulty finding programmers. “We want to give students a head start in carving out a career in the technology sector, with absolutely zero barrier to entry”, the company says in its media release.

Vermuelen told The Register it's an offer open to any student until places are filled. Registration is open to anybody with a .edu.au e-mail address, or lacking that, applicants can upload a copy of their student ID.

The company's courses include a variety of Web front-end interface environments, back-end programming including databases, Ruby, Rails, ASP.NET and server admin, Android and iOS mobile design, and design courses covering UX and Adobe environments.

Vermuelen also says Australia's poor OECD ranking in STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – puts us at risk of “missing out on the opportunities created by the technology and communications revolutions.” ®

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