5th December 2019
Here’s a curious statistic to make you raise an eyebrow: 82% of online job advertisements in the UK require a basic degree of digital skills, rising to 87% average for those living in London. The same report - released by the Government in July 2019 - cites a 29% increase in wages for those requiring digital skills compared to their non-digital counterpart roles, and 75% entry level roles requiring basic digital abilities across a breadth of programmes as a standard. For those of us who thought WordArt back in 1999 was groundbreaking, it can make us question how these industry shifts will have a repercussion on the next generations.
And that’s one of the reasons BIMA created Digital Day - where agencies nationwide take members of their team into a local school to educate them on the role of digital agencies and challenge the pupils with a brief of their very own. The idea is to spark that fire within those of any socio-economic background, of any capability - and remove any elitist or privileged stigma associated with the digital industries.
On Digital Day this year, we were lucky enough to be teamed up with friend of the agency Richard Coope from Brightful. We were assigned to Kings School in Winchester, where a collection of twenty 13-year-olds eagerly viewed BIMA’s introductory video to the digital industries to install a sense of excitement for the group.
Richard and I presented a task each to the group, with the end goal of each team leading their own pitch to their classmates and ourselves at the end of the day. We were both there to guide the pupils through the journey of their day - more on that later.
The challenges themselves were align with our Creative for good ethos, championing BIMA’s goal to use the digital industry as a positive change maker. The first brief was to create a piece of technology that’ll save the oceans. The brief came with an information pack to educate the pupils on what they should consider, breaking the wider brief into three refined options to choose from.
How do we remove plastic from the ocean?
How do we prevent trawlers taking too many fish from the sea?
How do we change the way people think and act, so we stop polluting the oceans?
The following brief asked the students to consider how can the world’s greatest tennis tournament encourage more young people to get active. They were introduced to Wimbledon’s campaign drive to encourage tennis as a sport for 365 days a year as opposed to only during the summer season during Wimbledon itself. The pupils were to utilise the Wimbledon’s app, offering an open idea platform which is generally familiar with teenagers these days.
Although Richard and I both host workshops for clients on a daily basis, this was by no means a walk in the park! To have to gauge the attention of nearly 30 teenagers was not easy, and gave me an extra appreciation for what teachers do on a daily basis.
The key highlight for the day was a surprise to both of us - that those children who were academically struggling somewhat were the ones who flourished. Away from the chemistry lab, complex historical conflicts and pythagoras they were offered an opportunity to fully embrace their less celebrated intelligence. To see those who started the day with apprehension start to thrive as they acknowledged their unexplored creativity and less conventional skills (in education system terms) was heartwarming. It showed the pupils that they can have a successful future, a prosperous career. The teachers were able to see another side to the whole group, and it was a privilege to be co-hosting this day with Richard and BIMA.
We’d fully recommend any other agencies or individuals within the digital industry to sign up to BIMA for the Digital Day 2020. They’ll assign the school for you, and each school’s pitches are sent to BIMA in order to be considered for a cash prize for the sterling pitches. Not only is it good for the old moral compass and corporate social responsibility, but it can potentially benefit the school financially too. And last but not least - you get to inspire a group of adolescents that the future is digital, and the future is theirs.
Let’s be creative for good.