Duke of York Award scheme set to transform digital skills
A groundbreaking new award scheme has been launched in Telford and Wrekin – with the aim of transforming residents’ digital skills to enable them to access new and better jobs.
Duke of York office director Kerensa Jennings attended the launch event of the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA) scheme at Telford College along with school representatives and partner organisation.
iDEA is a free online training portal that can be accessed at www.idea.org.uk and enables people of all ages to use resources designed to inspire them and help unlock their potential to learn, work and survive in the digital age.
The scheme has been set up because 90 per cent of new jobs in the UK require digital skills and more than 12 million adults lack them.
Similar to the Duke of Edinburgh Award, it is based on rewarding participants with badges for the efforts they put in to acquiring skills.
Each badge is worth a number of points which accumulate into awards. People will have to log in to their own personalized iDEA account and select a badge in one of four categories:
•Citizen – which teaches digital awareness, safety and ethics.
•Worker – which teaches tool and techniques that are useful in the workplace
•Entrepreneur – which teaches how to come up with ideas and bring them to life
•Maker – which teaches digital creativity and how to create things in a digital world
There will also soon be a Digital Council badge with training on how to access the council’s online services, by paying bills and reporting issues.
Within each category, there are a number of online training badges that take around 20 minutes to complete. Each badge is worth points and people can build up points to the iDEA bronze award – a recognized symbol of hard work, determination and skill.
In time, residents will be able to take new challenges that will unlock a Silver Award from 2018 and then the iDEA Gold Award from 2019. iDEA aspires to be the digital and enterprise equivalent of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
There will also be a Telford Online badge to click and register, which will automatically credit the user with two points towards their badge and will enable the council to record how many people in Telford are using the training portal.
Kerensa said: “I am incredibly proud that Telford & Wrekin Council is doing such amazing works using iDEA – the council is passionate about pushing its digital strategy and we are delighted to be part of that.
“The awards will help people develop digital and enterprise skills and this is absolutely crucial that we all understand and become a bit more aware of the digital world.
“The awards are completely free to do and can be done by anyone of any age all over the world. So far more than 200,000 modules have been completed worldwide and in the UK, more than a third of participants are over 25.”
Councillor Shirley Reynolds, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Education and Skills, said: “This is fantastic news for Telford and I am delighted that Kerensa was able to attend our launch, which was a great success.
“The Duke of York Awards represent an incredibly exciting opportunity for our residents and also has the potential for huge benefits to some key areas of the council such as libraries, customer services, the job box, the co-operative council team and education and corporate parenting.
“A number of these teams are creating their own badges and we feel it is an ideal time to launch this programme in Telford’s 50th year – while also celebrating the past and looking forward to the future and the opportunities this can bring our residents.”