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Tech London Advocates (TLA) has launched an online portal of education resources to give schools, young people and parents a single point of access to information and advice about digital skills.
The TLA Education Resource Hub aims to give people access to the resources and information they might need to learn digital skills, including those who want to learn these skills during the current economic climate caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates and Global Tech Advocates, said: “As we navigate through the pandemic, providing digital learning opportunities will be a priority for businesses and the government, to help the public and employees thrive in what is undoubtedly becoming an increasingly technology-driven world.
“The success of edtech companies and the adoption of their services by the UK population is testament to the appetite for virtual learning, accelerated by Covid-19. Now is the time to ensure that we are teaching future generations the skills that will prepare them for the digital workplace.
“The TLA Education Resource Hub is a fantastic and timely initiative, which will connect thousands of families and businesses alike to the support and guidance they need to ensure they don’t miss out on crucial learning and develop relevant skills in the process.”
There is already a digital divide in the UK, with more than half of the UK workforce lacking essential digital skills.
The coronavirus outbreak has exacerbated this as a majority of people are forced to use technology to work from home, or to achieve certain day-to-day tasks online as a result of enforced lockdowns.
It has also lead to digital home-schooling across the UK, and many left unemployed as organisations suffer under the pressure of lockdown.
The TLA Education Resource Hub was developed by the TLA Education Working Group, comprised of around 9,000 people in technology, alongside education technology providers to collect relevant resources so they can be accessed in one place.
The resources are appropriate to everyone regardless of stage of life and career, though are generally aimed at schools, parents and young people, and are made up of advice and resources from organisations who provide edtech or tech education services.
These include organisations such as Founders4Schools, Digital Boost, Code First Girls, Teen Tech, Decoded, Tech Will Save Us, WhiteHat, Makers Academy, UK Blacktech, ADA College, Firefly Learning, Stemettes, Good things Foundation and UpSkill Digital.
Some of the resources available on the Hub include links to education providers, a list of events happening in the digital skills space, courses and apprenticeships aimed at increasing digital skills and blogs or written content with advice.
Ensuring young people have the digital skills they need to navigate work and life in the future was a focus for the UK before the coronavirus outbreak forced us into using technology for home schooling, with many worrying the UK’s tech talent pipeline will be limited to home grown talent as overseas skilled workers threaten to leave the UK as Brexit looms.
Mark Martin, founder of UKBlackTech, one of the organisations featured on the TLA Education Hub, and teacher at South Bank Engineering UTC, said: “These are incredibly challenging times for schools, young people and parents alike as they navigate lockdown, remote learning and economic disruption.
“Digital skills can unlock the employment market for young people, as well as improve the learning experience through digital channels. People need simple, accessible solutions and the TLA Education Resource Hub will be massively appreciated by educators and young people.”
Read more about digital skills
- All Party Parliamentary Group on Digital Skills launches call to action to find out if lessons learnt in lockdown could help build digital skills policy in the future.
- The UK must increase investment in digital skills to avoid being left further behind Asian countries such as China and Singapore, according to the Open Knowledge Foundation.