BIMA, the UK’s digital and trade body has challenged the UK government to embed digital literacy into the official curriculum.
Research from BIMA has found that one third of students feel they don’t get the digital learning they need, with computer studies courses only covering a specific and limited area of digital skills, such as coding.
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BIMA warns that this tunnel-vision approach to digital skills will damage the economy long-term.
Natalie Gross, co-president of BIMA, said: “People come from all over the world to work in the UK’s tech and digital sector, but we are failing as a talent producer. By isolating digital skills development in the computer room, we are missing an opportunity to open young people’s eyes to the way technology can transform their futures, whatever career they choose.”
People come from all over the world to work in the UK’s tech and digital sector, but we are failing as a talent producer.
– Natalie Gross, BIMA
A recent report from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has revealed that 60% of larger firms are reporting that their digital skills needs will increase dramatically over the next three to five years. Small businesses even more so, with 69% reporting the same thing.
To help address this skills gap, BIMA runs Digital Day, an annual national day of action connecting digital and tech companies with students in schools across the UK. Digital Day 2019 expects over 5,000 student participants, and 95 companies already registered to take part.
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As part of Digital Day, students will complete one of three challenges for a chance to be crowned BIMA Digital Day champions. Winning schools will be awarded a £500 cash prize, and be invited to take part in workshops with industry experts. Challenges from last year’s event included designing a VR or AR solution to change how we shop on the high street, sponsored by Vodafone, and a quest from BBC studios to come up with a big idea to promote its new digital-only series, Earthlings.
The deadline for schools and businesses to register for Digital Day is 31 October 2019. More information is available at the BIMA website: www.bimadday.org.uk