This platform brings together information on local opportunities for young people to learn digital skills and find work opportunities. It covers some activities that take place in school, and some outside.

Here are some tips on how to use the platform.

What the platform is for - this platform is an online directory of opportunities that can help you engage young people in digital learning, and of activities you can connect young people to. We publish information about local opportunities*, and invite Digital Learning Programmes to submit their information. You can find profiles of organisations, courses and events. There are a wide range of programmes. They cover different subjects and work with young people of different ages. They include activities which are about digital creativity, learning and opportunities that connect to the world of work, like apprenticeship schemes.

What teachers can access through the platform - programmes that you can bring into school or college to help you develop digital technology skills. For example, programmes that are run in school which can help you deliver parts of the curriculum. These will usually be run by specialists, and often by people who work in the industry. You can search by age group, skill level and type of skill and also see which parts of the curriculum programmes address.

Networks as well as learning - you can also help young people connect to opportunities outside of school. There are many clubs, events and festivals to engage with locally, and we know that often it is teachers who can signpost these. You can encourage keen young people to use the platform themselves to find opportunities that appeal to them. Many of these programmes link to job opportunities and schemes like apprenticeship programmes that can help young people find work in the digital world.

In-person, kit and online - most of the programmes that feature on the platform take place in person - at clubs, meet-ups, hackdays or on training programmes. We also feature some programmes who teach using kit. You can buy these kits online and use them in the classroom. We also feature a small number of online learning programmes. There are many online resources and the ones featured here are a small selection. We have chosen the ones we think are good additions to learning digital skills in person.

Attending local events and courses - we provide information about these programmes, but we are not responsible for them. We verify that the organisations are in operation and ask for contact details and contact person. We do not vouch for the quality of the programmes, and only rank them by users on the site showing their favourites. You must decide which are most appropriate for your school and to refer young people to. More information can be found on the websites of each programme which you can link through to from our platform.

Safeguarding Young People - young people can be at risk both at in person events and courses, and online. We do not approve programmes on basis of child safety criteria. We don’t, for example, insist programmes confirm they are run by DBS checked adults in order to appear on the platform, but we do advise programmes to have a child protection policy in place. It is a good idea to ask this when connecting a young person to a course or event for the first time.

How to Code in School - the Computing Curriculum has introduced a wave of coding into schools across the country. See here for more on how schools are tackling the new curriculum. You are most likely familiar with these resources, but if not, there is a lot more guidance, through organisations like TES and CAS and others. This platform is not intended as a teaching resource, but simply to connect you - and young people - to the programmes you can engage with locally, outside the formal education system. We think some of these programmes are particularly well placed to support teachers, to help you deliver parts of the curriculum, and to engage with industry.

What Digital Learning Programmes provide - It’s great that Computing is on the curriculum, but it’s not the only way to learning. Coding - and other technology skills - is a creative and collaborative skill. Here’s an article on the US perspective as to how the Learn-to-Code movement augments teaching in schools and helps young people connect.

Careers in Digital - there is a growing demand for young people with the right digital skills. This is particularly true for your local area, where there is an active tech cluster. Through the right kind of training programme, young people can access jobs with starting salaries of £25-30k. You can help young people into these kinds of jobs by helping them engage with the learning opportunities on this platform. There is good guidance for young people on digital careers here.

*In this beta phase of the platform, local opportunities means East London, in the boroughs of Hackney, Islington, Newham and Tower Hamlets.