Why you should participate in BIMA’s Digital Day

Derek Green Friday, September 16, 2016

Why is it important for your school or digital agency to participate in the British Interactive Media Association’s (BIMA) Digital Day this 15 November?  You may be unaware of the fact that we are facing an imminent skills shortage within the digital industry.  How can this be? I hear you ask. Aren’t all young people IT savvy these days? It’s true that they’re heavy users of digital. However very few of them are aware of how the apps, games and sites – that they use on a daily basis – are created.

Here in Edinburgh, Radio Forth recently reported that  more than two thirds of Scottish businesses, questioned in a CBI/Pearson education and skills survey said they expect to struggle to fill highly-skilled roles. In addition, an article in Design Week highlighted figures released this summer by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), which show there has been a 10% decrease in the the number of students taking Design & Technology as a GCSE subject.

BIMA’s mission is to connect, develop and champion the UK digital industry to ensure continued growth and acceleration of tech expertise across all the UK. This is why it’s been running its annual Digital Day Iniative since 2012. So far over 5000 students have participated in this free event

So what are the benefits for schools who participate in BIMA’s Digital Day? As well as raising awareness of digital career opportunities to your 13–16 years olds, this one-day event enables you to connect directly with local agencies involved in digital. It also provides your students with the opportunity to get creative by answering one of the nationwide design challenges set by our high-profile sponsors. 

For agencies, BIMA Digital Day provides you with a perfect opportunity to give a little back to the community. It’s a chance for you to showcase what you do digitally, and to inspire and support a new generation to consider our wonderfully diverse and ever-evolving industry for their careers.

So given the looming digital skills shortage and the positive nature of this initiative why, as Edinburgh’s BIMA DDay Co-ordinator, have I found Scottish schools and digital agencies reluctant to sign-up? There’s no hard sell and there’s no catch. In fact BIMA provide all participants with relevant teaching materials and resources, careers guidance, and access to assets required to run the day, for FREE. 

From the chats I’ve had with agencies who’ve participated in previous BIMA DDays, a minimum amount of time is needed to prepare for the day. I’ve also read articles, from other BIMA DDay Team members, who’ve suggested that this initiative is a perfect vehicle for agencies to get their junior members to lead an event and sharpen up their presentation skills too. 

The closing date of 07 October for applications to this year’s Digital Day is now fast approaching. However it’s easy to sign-up your school or agency.  Go to the BIMA DDay website and complete the appropriate online application form. You’ll also find lots of useful information, plus a list of the regional DDay co-ordinators who are here to help you. 

If you’re a Scottish school or agency and require more information, then please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ll be happy to help.

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