Ufi announces work with iDEA on innovative digital badges

Charitable trust, Ufi, is backing The Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award to develop and extend its innovative digital badge concept

It’s hoped that a project backed by Ufi and The Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA) will encourage people to develop digital and enterprise skills and help plug the UK’s digital skills gap. Ufi’s experience across the education sector and voctech should contribute to helping develop and roll out the iDEA programme.

iDEA is designed to inspire people to become digital citizens, workers, makers, entrepreneurs and gamers, enhancing their skills to help them access work and progress up the career ladder. The digital badges are short modules which cover a diverse range of topics such as cyber security, cloud computing, animation, growth hacking, customer relationship management and web development. iDEA aims to create coherence in the digital and enterprise skills learning landscape, democratising the opportunity provided by today’s digital world . The scheme will operate through digital badges which provide flexible learning, available to anyone free of charge, be they on their own, with friends or in classrooms and workshops.

iDEA uses a blended learning approach that aspires to be a digital and enterprise equivalent of The Duke of Edinburgh Award. Participants take on a series of challenges to earn points which aggregate towards their Bronze, Silver or Gold Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award. The system allows for the creation of both digital learning and experience badges, so that iDEA can accredit partner activities and learning that happens in the real world such as events, workshops and competitions.  

‘iDEA aims to create coherence in the digital and enterprise skills learning landscape.’

Working in partnership with organisations including schools and colleges, charities, local authorities and businesses, iDEA enables employers and other digital and enterprise learning institutions to be part of the project. It is working with partners from companies of all sizes to create, co-create and commission world class resources which can be accessed either via Partner websites or via the iDEA platform. Teachers, tutors and facilitators are also using iDEA resources as valuable CPD (Continuing Professional Development) to build their own knowledge of key digital and enterprise skills.

iDEA is working with Joining Communities in Leigh, Wigan, to help equip adult job seekers with knowledge, information, skills and confidence.

One of their learners, Jason, said: ‘It’s a great place to learn. It’s simple to use,and you can access it from any device, anywhere. I love learning new things, and the topics that are available are things I never thought I would be interested in. Reading through these different things has opened my mind a lot. You get a trade-recognised certificate at the end of the course, there is no pressure – you can do it at your own time and your own pace. There are three different stages and you feel like you have accomplished something at each stage.’

Rebecca Garrod Waters, Ufi’s CEO says, “Ufi is convinced of the value of micro credentials and digital badges to improve access to, and delivery of, vocational learning. The scheme exemplifies everything that is good about the concept of digital badging – it is accessible on any device, flexible, available to adults and young people at all stages of digital skills development, and supports informal and formal learning. We are looking forward to being able to demonstrate the value of digital badging through the working example provided by iDEA.”

Find out more at ufi.co.uk 

Find out more about iDEA at https://idea.org.uk