This week, Birmingham welcomes thousands of attendees from the wider region and beyond to Birmingham Tech Week, the UK's largest regional tech festival and conference, to celebrate innovation and technology and address an array of critical topics – including digital skills.
On Tuesday 17 October, the University of Birmingham is hosting Digital Skills Day at the Exchange and, for the first time, Birmingham Digital Futures (BDF) is welcoming children and young people from across the city to experience the day. Children will participate in inspirational workshops crafted to introduce them to the world of technology and a group of young people, aged 16-19, will attend the Digital Skills Symposium as youth delegates to gain valuable insights into digital career pathways.
60 Year 5 students from George Dixon Primary School, working in partnership with the King Edward VI Foundation in Birmingham, will participate in a series of engaging digital skills focussed workshops. These workshops have been thoughtfully designed to allow students to explore cutting-edge technology and engage with inspiring industry role models.
The goal is to expose these young minds to various career opportunities and demonstrate how technology is shaping our world for the better. We are excited to witness the impact of Birmingham Digital Futures and Birmingham Tech Week 2023 on the young minds participating in this unique education fringe event.Laura Giddings, Birmingham Digital Futures
Laura Giddings, Impact and Engagement Manager for BDF, said: "The goal is to expose these young minds to various career opportunities and demonstrate how technology is shaping our world for the better. We are excited to witness the impact of Birmingham Digital Futures and Birmingham Tech Week 2023 on the young minds participating in this unique education fringe event."
BDF’s vision of nurturing an early interest in technology will equip young people with the essential skills they need for a promising future. Over 50 organisations across the region support this vision and several partners are delivering the Digital Skills Day workshops. Tech She Can will enable students to embark on an exciting journey into the captivating world of technology, delving into the realm of augmented reality and understanding how technology can contribute to environmental preservation.
Ahead Partnership and AND Digital will offer students a unique insight into the digital skills needed in the world of work. Students will map their digital skills to potential career roles while engaging in dynamic networking activities. The students will also learn about the variety of careers available within the digital industry from role models in the digital industry.
Entrust will take students on an adventure into the captivating world of robotics. Students will learn how robotics can be used to assist others and build and program their own robots. The workshop will culminate in a thrilling robot design challenge, fostering student’s creativity and problem-solving skills.
30 youth delegates at the Digital Skills Symposium will hear from inspiring speakers from businesses across different sectors in the region who are committed to closing the digital skills gap, including the University’s Professor Nicola Wilkin (Academic Director of Digital Education and Equity), Suneal Ram Kissun (Social Impact Partnerships Lead at 2U – the University’s digital boot camps partner) and Stephanie Burras CBE (CEO of Ahead Partnership, who have recently become a BDF strategic partner). In addition to having the opportunity to network, these young delegates will be attending a roundtable session, in collaboration with Goldman Sachs, to share their thoughts on digital skills and what decision-makers in the region need to do next.
The Digital Innovators Youth Delegation offers an exceptional opportunity for the young people of the West Midlands to draw inspiration from the digital future.Harry Paige, Digital Innovators
Of this opportunity, Harry Paige, from Digital Innovators said: "The Digital Innovators Youth Delegation offers an exceptional opportunity for the young people of the West Midlands to draw inspiration from the digital future; moreover, having an active representation of the communities that the Digital Skill Symposium discusses and influences in future policy is of utmost importance.
Digital Innovators takes great pride in supporting Birmingham Digital Futures. Through genuine collaboration with all stakeholders, from policymakers to future leaders, we can be certain that the challenges of the future are, in fact, opportunities."