Glossop Advertiser - - News - Coun­cil­lor Brenda War­ring­ton, Leader of Tameside coun­cil

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

Brenda War­ring­ton

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