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 the 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 many studies have shown that computer literacy can lead to improved health and reduced levels of isolation for elderly people.
That’s why we’ve signed Tameside and Glossop 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 a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award – a recognised symbol of your learning and skill.
You can work on the modules by yourself or in a group, and once you’ve started 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’ll receive a special local badge to get you started.
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, it will have something for you. l