Schools all over the country are being invited to spend one hour this week coding.

It is part to the Hour of Code initiative run by Microsoft, which aims to introduce as many young people as possible to the skill of coding.

It is hoped 8,000 students will take part in a session over the course of the next seven days.

To help, Microsoft is sending employees out to schools and running an online session via Skype on Wednesday between 11am and 12pm.

Schools must, however, register in order to take part.

"Europe's projected skills shortage of 500,000 ICT workers by 2020 is a worrying one," said Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director, Microsoft Ireland.

"This is in an exciting sector that needs a diverse collection of skills and thinkers to ensure it continues to thrive.

"There's lots of opportunity and Hour of Code is just one way to provide students with a taste of what's possible if you open your mind to creativity."