BIMA Calls On Agencies to Sign Up to Digital Day 2015
BIMA (the British Interactive Media Association) is calling on UK schools to help prepare students for future employment in the ‘digital economy’ by signing up to Digital Day 2015 – the nationwide initiative that brings schools together with the digital industry to raise awareness of digital career opportunities. Digital Day this year is in association with Standard Life.
Digital Day will take place on 17th November 2015 in schools across the country, when some of the UK’s leading digital industry professionals will be giving students an insight into life in the digital sector and advice on the jobs that exist within the digital economy.
Students will also be able to enter the BIMA Digital Day national competition, taking part in workshops to create new digital ideas and concepts in response to three different challenges which cover the areas of mobile, social media and connected devices. Each school will submit their top entry to be judged by a panel of industry experts and sponsors including Standard Life and Sony Music on board so far. The winning team will be awarded the Digital Day Grand Prix.
This year BIMA has developed Digital Day to also run as a ‘virtual event’ so that even more schools are able to participate. Teachers now have the flexibility to run the Digital Day competition challenges with students over a series of lessons, at after school events or however they prefer. At last year’s D-Day event, 4,000 students from 100 schools across the UK got the chance to work with mentors from 100 of the UK’s leading digital agencies. This year the aim is to have over 10,000 students taking part.
BIMA’s Digital Day is an initiative directly aimed at preparing the next generation of school leavers and university graduates for employment in the digital sector, which is due for incredible growth as the internet economy is expected to continue building on its £180 billion contribution to the UK economy this year. A study by O2 in 2013 estimated that the UK will need 750,000 more digitally-skilled workers in order to meet this opportunity, and a recent Tech Nation 2015 report projected over 5% digital employment growth by 2020. However, earlier this year, a House of Lords Select Committee report ‘Make or Break: The UK’s Digital Future’ echoed the need for better digital skills and careers awareness in order to ‘seize the opportunity to secure the UK’s place as a global digital leader’, and a recent study from Creative Skillset highlighted that ‘a lot more needs to be done to provide a visible range of paid career paths’.
The issues will be discussed in depth at a press launch event for Digital Day on Monday 29th June at Microsoft’s offices in Victoria, where BIMA will take part in a discussion panel alongside executives from Microsoft, Google and BBC’s Make It Digital, and others including globally successful vlogger and digital entrepreneur Fleur de Force.
A survey conducted by digital marketing and technology consultancy Amaze in conjunction with BIMA found that 87% of young people participating in Digital Day 2013 were now more likely to consider a career in digital.
Natalie Gross, BIMA executive committee member and CEO of digital agency Amaze, said: “The digital industry in the UK is world-class and a significant employer; it is a vibrant sector with thousands of people working in agencies, technology companies, established businesses, start-ups and within the public sector. There are fantastic opportunities for young people – from social media and app development to digital design – but there is a lack of awareness about digital career opportunities. BIMA Digital Day offers inspiration, practical advice and a hands-on experience that will get young people excited about a future as part of the digital economy.”
David Ashworth, Head of ICT, Bury Grammar School for Girls, a participant school in BIMA Digital Day 2014, said about taking part “Digital Day is a fantastic opportunity for our students to experience how the internet and technologies are used in a commercial environment. They also gain valuable insights from working with practicing professionals and from working creatively as part of a group – exercising different ways of thinking to complete activities that are not readily available within the normal school curriculum”.