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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

A Bright iDEA for Tameside and Glossop

Friday, 07 September 2018


Back in June I wrote about the first anniversary of the re-opening of the Ashton Old Baths. At the time I said that the Baths were the crown jewel in our wider digital strategy. One part of that strategy is to attract and grow businesses in the creative and technology sectors. The other, and arguably even more important part, is to equip our residents with the skills they need to navigate the new digital world.

Let’s not mince words, there’s a serious argument to be made that computer literacy is now as essential a life skill as reading, writing and arithmetic. Think for a moment about your day-to-day activities; is there any part of them that doesn’t involve computers in some way? How about your job; how much of it could you do if you didn’t have any skills with computers or technology? It doesn’t matter what age you are either, as studies have shown that computer literacy can lead to improved health and reduced levels of isolation for elderly people.

Our ambition should therefore be nothing less than making sure that every person in Tameside; child, adult or pensioner, can access opportunities to improve their digital skills and computer literacy. That’s why, at the end of last week, we signed Tameside up to the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA). Supported by the Duke of York and based on the renowned Duke of Edinburgh Award, iDEA is a free programme to help everybody develop their digital, enterprise and employability skills.

If you’ve got access to a mobile phone, tablet or computer, you can take part in a series of online challenges and interactive learning modules in a variety of different digital skills, including staying safe online, animation, basic coding, web design and entrepreneurial skills. Completing a module earns you a badge, and when you’ve completed enough badges you’ll be able to earn an Award – a recognised symbol of your learning and skill. Awards start at Bronze for beginner modules and go on to Silver for intermediate level. An advanced Gold Award will also be released next year. The modules can be completed individually or as a group and once you’ve started there’s no deadline for completion, so you can take as much or as little time as you need to complete them. As a bonus for Tameside and Glossop residents, if you sign up at http://iDEA.org.uk and enter the code “TandGiDEA” you will receive a special local badge which will count towards a Bronze Award.

Don’t forget as well that, as happy as we are to welcome iDEA to Tameside and Glossop, it is far from the only way we are promoting digital skills in the borough. We work with local volunteers and Active Tameside to put on CoderDojos on the first Sunday of every month, giving young people a space to learn to code in a safe, friendly and relaxed environment. Our popular Tameside Hack competitions are also now entering their fourth year, giving those who want to take their coding and programming skills further the chance to team up with others and create digital products with real world applications. Challenges from last year’s Hack ranged from creating apps to raise awareness of social media safety, promoting healthy living and developing solutions for housing and spatial planning.

I’m delighted to support the launch of iDEA in Tameside and Glossop, and there is no doubt in my mind that it will be both further Tameside’s digital agenda and be a valuable learning resource for Tameside’s residents. So whether you want to stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting a new job, or just brush up on your digital skills for its own sake, iDEA has something for you.

 

Posted by: Executive Leader


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