A digital version of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme which was launched by the Duke of York earlier this year has received the support of some of the world’s biggest and most prolific technology companies.
The most prolific of these companies has to be Microsoft who have pledged their full support for the strategy, but they are not alone: Barclays, Telefonica, Silicon Valley Bank and KPMG have also said they will contribute money and resources to support the scheme.
The scheme is the brainchild of The Duke of York and the Nominet Trust and their aim is to better equip 14-25 year olds with digital, enterprise and entrepreneurial skills. It also aims to tackle the issue of raising self confidence in youngsters as well as improving their employability.
Only last month did Prince Andrew host Dojo@Palace, a coding workshop for 14-25 year olds. Present at the palace was a team from iDEA who also gave a short presentation to showcase Gtracks. The Duke of York encouraged the youngsters who were in attendance at the event to carry on developing their digital skills adding, “I’m really pleased we have been able to invite CoderDojo in to the Palace as a stepping stone to getting more businesses in the local area to think about this.”
Microsoft will be providing funding, mentorship and workspace for the iDEA scheme while also developing a dedicated open skills badge for the strategy. In what could be described as a similarity to Guides and Scouts rather than the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, iDEA’s central element will be to accrue skill badges. The badges can be achieved all year round, however annually participants will have the opportunity to take their business ideas to the next level.
The University of Huddersfield and Salesforce.com are also lending their support to Prince Andrew’s digital scheme. At the minute there are 1,000 young people taking part in iDEA though by October this is expected to be opened up to more than 25,000.
The iDEA scheme and its partners is further proof that Prince Andrew is fully committed to the cause of improving the digital skills of youngsters. One hopes that this scheme can be as successful and run for as long as the very impactful Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.
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