From education to employment


A training programme to develop the digital skills of students at City of Wolverhampton College has won royal recognition.  

The college’s Directed iDEA programme has been awarded Pioneer status by the Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA) scheme in recognition of its commitment to ensuring students have the necessary digital skills to be successful in the future.  

The national iDEA scheme aims to equip people with digital and enterprise skills to help unlock their potential and inspire them for their future careers, with Pioneer status signifying that the organisation is committed to ensuring learners are set up to thrive in the digital age. 

Under the scheme students complete individual online challenges and earn digital badges. Each badge carries a number of points and, when participants reach certain thresholds, they receive bronze, silver or gold iDEA awards. 

Using national iDEA resources, staff at the college offer training in a range of areas – including cyber security, online safety, social media, digital research, animation, graphic design, and video editing – which students complete alongside their chosen course.    

Since the college scheme was launched in October 2018 over 1300 students have taken part, with almost 23,000 individual badges completed, 379 students achieving bronze level and 13 achieving the silver award. 

Conrad Taylor, e-learning manager at the college, said: “Within the next 20 years 90% of jobs will have a digital element which means the workforce of the future needs to be equipped with skills that will enable them to thrive in an increasingly digital world. 

“Our Directed iDEAs programme means that all students have the opportunity to develop their digital skills, no matter what qualification they are studying for, and we are delighted to have been awarded national iDEA Pioneer status and recognised as part of a global community that enables digital skills education.” 

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