What is Digital Day?
Digital Day is an annual scheme orchestrated by BIMA, designed to work towards closing the skills gap in technology. We teamed up with Syd Nadim from Clock to provide as much wisdom as possible! At J B Cole, we’re really passionate about encouraging more young people to take up career paths in our industry in order to create the best possible workforce for the future. The range of careers available within Digital is vast and getting that message out there is something we strongly believe in to ensure the next generation can take hold of all the exciting opportunities available to them.
Earlier this year, BIMA released their Diversity and Inclusion Report on the skills gap and the specific problems the industry faces in growing a diverse and multi-talented workforce. The report found that businesses with more diversity in their talent pool are more likely to succeed than those who don’t embrace progressive employment.
‘If we want to keep the industry’s growth on track, diversity has to be at the heart of our plans.’ – BIMA Report
This year we took part again, visiting Watford Grammar School for Boys where our CTO Ollie Bolland completed his secondary education. As part of the visit, the children were posed with a set of challenges set by sponsors to get them thinking creatively about the possibilities of digital. This encompasses many skills and insights into various industries, giving them the chance to see what it’s like to work within a digital business.
Challenges set by Digital Day sponsors…
EPAM is a global technology company, combining award-winning consultancy, creative and design experience with leading-edge engineering. It aims to inspire young people to choose a career in digital, to create the future and ultimately to change the world through digital.
This year, they set the kids the challenge of coming up with a campaign that would get them inspired. They were asked to think about what they find interesting, what they didn’t know yesterday and ultimately, how they plan to get that message across to other people in the room.
They were given the opportunity to create a campaign in any format including a video, an event, a petition or a fun social media creation.
This was designed to provoke fun and inventive responses to show that digital isn’t all just codes and complex tech. It’s about thinking outside of the box and understanding how we can reach wider and unique audiences with technology.
Microbit Educational Foundation
Microbit Educational Foundation- inspiring every child to create their best digital future. World’s Largest Lesson – bringing the Global Goals to children all over the world and uniting them in taking action.
The next challenge was a very topical one and simultaneously crucial to the future of the planet and technology. The children were asked to create a piece of technology that could help save our oceans which are increasingly filled with waste and harmful plastic.
Digital businesses are often the leaders at the forefront of important movements across the world which strive to make the planet a better place. Although it was challenging, it was great to explore this with the next generation to see how technology has the potential to improve sustainability and the environment.
We discussed this in a bit more depth in our latest podcast which you can check out here:
Wimbledon – Inspiring young people to take part in sport with one of the world’s great sporting events
The final challenge was a sporty one and another example of how digital campaigns can change the world for the better. The groups were asked how the world’s greatest tennis tournament can encourage more young people to get active. We were so impressed by the range of fun, creative and intelligent responses we received from the kids.
After the challenges, the children then compete in the BIMA Digital Day champions challenge with a Dragon’s Den-style pitch, for the chance of winning £500 cash for their school, as well as a whole host of prizes.
Digital Day is over for another year, but the work towards closing the skills gap in tech continues. We’ll keep talking about diversity in 2020 and we can’t wait to get involved again with Digital Day again next year.