21 Digital from Blackburn participates in Nationwide D-Day initiative to bridge digital skills gap as government sets ambitious targets for the digital economy.
On Thursday 10th October 4,000 school children from 100 schools across the UK will take part in BIMA Digital-Day (or D-Day for short), an initiative created by BIMA (the British Interactive Media Association) to introduce school-age children to the possibility of embarking on a career in digital.
BIMA D-Day is supported by 100 leading digital agencies including 21 Digital from Blackburn and will see agency mentor, Michael Cain who is technical director and our Blackburn web designer, going to Westholme School (Blackburn) to give pupils a presentation that offers insight into life in the industry, before using a specially-created resource to take them through one of a series of challenges from digital design, mobile apps, social media and web development.
The children taking part will be encouraged to use creative decision making and project management skills to contribute to the success of the task.
This year’s BIMA D-Day follows an O2-commissioned report released earlier this month which indicated that Britain needs to create and fill 750,000 new digital jobs to keep pace with the global digital economy. With one fifth of these jobs ideally suited to the new generation of computer-savvy school children and Government initiatives designed to accelerate digital economic output to worth £7 billion per year by 2017, there is a real need for the industry to inspire school-age children to embrace a potential career in digital.
The very best projects created on D-Day will be submitted to a specially created award panel, with the winner in each category carrying off a BIMA D-Day Award. The overall winner will be selected to receive the Grand Prix which last year went to a team from Dr Challoner’s Grammar School (Bucks) for its Yappy Dog idea, an app and website designed to help dog owners plan walks based on the weight, breed and age of the family pet.
Andrew Henning, CEO at Redweb and D-Day initiative leader said: “The UK digital industry has achieved major stature both in terms of talent and the contribution that it makes to the UK balance sheet. But we can’t afford to be complacent. Whilst the Government has identified digital as a key growth area, we need to ensure that the next generation is aware of the opportunities that exist.
Building on the success of last year, when we had over 1,800 children finding out about digital, this year’s BIMA D-Day will put a big window on agency life and inspire kids to focus on one of the most interesting and rewarding sectors that the UK has to offer.”
Michael Cain, from 21 Digital said: “It’s great to be supporting such a brilliant initiative. The UK industry, both nationally and regionally needs to inspire the next generation of school children to consider digital as one of the most dynamic and rewarding career paths that they can take.”
The digital economy is a key driver for growth in the UK. Despite this there is a lack of information and understanding about career opportunities within the digital sector. As an industry that is finding it increasing difficult to recruit, BIMA believes it needs to raise awareness to not only bridge the current skills gap but to ensure the country has a rich source of digital talent coming through.