Today is D-Day – Digital Day – an initiative in which the British Interactive Media Association (BIMA) aims to link the UK digital industry with schools nationwide. According to the website, although the UK has a vibrant digital sector, there is now a skills shortage, and D-Day is designed to ensure young people are fully aware of the opportunities within the industry. BIMA noted that creative employment in the UK accounts for over two million jobs, and employment in the sector outpaces the rest of the economy as a whole. The organisation said it has activities across web, mobile, social and coding planned; agencies will visit schools, videos on jobs will be aired, and young people will discover what it’s like to work in the industry.
Redweb is one of 60 or so agencies involved with the scheme, and confirmed employees will “help students to tackle digital challenges, provide insight based on professional experiences, and raise the awareness of career opportunities within the industry”. In the case of Redweb specifically, the agency has been paired with two schools: Avonbourne School in Bournemouth and The Purbeck School in Wareham.
Redweb CEO Andrew Henning heads up the education committee at BIMA and is the driving force behind the initiative. He worked for 18 months to make D-Day a reality, and explained that it could reshape British employment: “The current high levels of youth unemployment and the pessimism of young people towards their future careers is very concerning. I work in an industry that struggles for talent. Many people see digital as something they just use and not something they can shape and work in; we want to change that perception.”
According to Henning, the digital sector in the UK is primed for rapid growth, through the likes of 4G, the cloud, ‘second screen’ and an increase in mobile services. “To ensure the UK remains an industry world leader, we need to encourage enough young people to choose a career in digital,” he said.