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IDEA : Should you opt digital skills?

The pace of change in technology is irrevocably transforming the way we work – 90% of jobs will have a digital element. We have an evolving digital workplace which urgently needs a digital workforce.

I founded the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (known as iDEA) to help people become economically active in the digital economy.

iDEA is a free platform-based voctech solution aiming to help plug the digital skills gap using an innovative Badge Store concept. This has been curated to help inspire people to become digital citizens, workers, makers, entrepreneurs and gamers to enhance their employability; and to empower them to develop vital life skills. The iDEA Booklet introduces the programme and includes the full curriculum.

iDEA is for people of all ages. Our learners range from school pupils to college and university students to apprentices, job seekers, youth groups, adult education groups, business leaders, entrepreneurs, educators and pensioners. Our Partners include local authorities, charitable organisations, small businesses, large corporates, various educational establishments and community groups like the University of the Third Age, the Armed Forces Cadets and Joining Communities. Our online modules (Badges) range from how to stay safe online to GDPR to teamwork to digital research to growth hacking to web design. Many of our Organisers (our facilitators, teachers, tutors etc) use iDEA Badges for their own CPD, and find it useful being able to track the progress of their learners with the analytics we provide.

Participants take on a series of challenges that earn points towards industry recognised Awards. Last year we launched the Bronze Award, and a few days ago, we launched the Silver Award. Where Bronze is set at beginner level, Silver is intermediate, so a step up in difficulty level. Silver requires learners to be resourceful and resilient.

The 2018 edition of Deloitte’s Digital Disruption Index found:

• Only 12% of business leaders believe UK school leavers and graduates have the right digital skills

• Only 16% believe their teams have the capabilities to deliver their digital strategy

• 54% do not believe their learning and development curriculum supports their digital strategy

iDEA provides vocational skills, knowledge and information training to support lifelong learning. More than half a million iDEA badges have been completed so far.

iDEA’s gap analysis in consultation with industry reveals the urgency needed to tackle the digital skills gap. iDEA has caught the imagination of numerous Partners because:

(a) it works

(b) the interface makes tech seem less intimidating, more accessible

(c) iDEA helps people feel more confident

(d) iDEA feels achievable because it works on all devices and you can do it anywhere in bitesize modules.

I hope you, your friends, family and colleagues will get the chance to have a go at some of our badges. Try them out now on iDEA.org.uk.

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