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Evidence of Digital Deprivation in the UK Is Mounting

A Debilitating Denial of Young Peoples Rights

Date

11/12/2020

Categories

Enginuity news, Industry news

This situation is unacceptable – a significant percentage of young people are being denied their rights to be educated

The digital deprivation of the young is delivering shame to the UK this Christmas – according to one of the UK’s leading industry and skills figures.

Lucy Thompson, Chief People and Transformation Officer of skills charity Enginuity says that the lack of laptops, digital learning aids and WIFI among the poorest families in the UK is ‘debilitating, decelerating and downright disastrous.’

Enginuity, known as ‘The Sector Connector’ for engineering and manufacturing is already addressing the issue head on and has launched Skills Miner – a digital game – aimed at fuelling the imagination of youngsters, attracting them towards fruitful careers in the sector and identifying those that have the potential to thrive in it.

The evidence of digital deprivation (otherwise known as digital poverty) is mounting and was recently highlighted in Ofsted’s Annual Report.

A report from education charity Teach First, says four out of five schools with the poorest of pupils do not have enough devices and WIFI access and the Covid-19 crisis has widened the digital divide.

The Association of Colleges has reported that more than 100,000 students do not have access to a suitable device to aid their learning.

Government pledges to supply laptops for learning to hundreds of thousands of young people forced to stay away from school during the first lockdown have failed to fully materialise.

young learner using minecraft on laptop

Lucy Thompson said: “This situation is unacceptable – a significant percentage of young people are being denied their rights to be educated, whatever their family or personal circumstances

“Digital deprivation is a shame on the nation – denying young people the nutrients and sustenance they need at a pivotal point in their lives is debilitating, decelerating and downright disastrous.

“This will haunt them for the rest of their lives – and be a blight on the UK, morally and economically.

“The UK cannot possibly meet its full potential if such a significant section of the next generation is discarded even before they have a chance of making a meaningful contribution to the economy.

“We can ill afford to allow digital deprivation to be yet another factor detracting from the nation’s efforts to bounce back following such a disastrous year.”

Enginuity is dedicated to attracting young people to enter engineering and manufacturing with a raft of new initiatives.

Skills Miner is designed by industry experts to recognise and evaluate the skills displayed by users as they make their way through the increasingly demanding game levels – and passes on useful links to prompt them to find out more regarding, training, apprenticeships and other openings on a vocational pathway to work.

Further enhancements to the game are due to go live next year.

Lucy Thompson

Enginuity is a registered charity that provides public benefit by:

  • Supporting Engineering and Manufacturing to drive a positive and growing contribution from the sector both in terms of jobs and contribution to GDP
  • Supporting employers in identifying future skills requirements and developing or sourcing appropriate education and skills solutions to upskill and reskill their existing workforce thereby maintaining people in employment for longer whilst also promoting the sector as an attractive and worthwhile career
  • Ensuring that individuals and employers can access high quality engineering skills training programmes, assessment, and validation to keep their skills and competency relevant, up-to-date, and evidenced
  • Inspiring individuals with latent talent who may not have considered engineering and help individuals already interested in a career in engineering to understand their potential and be given opportunities for development and progression
  • Ensuring that ethics and safety of the public is integrated into all training both directly and through partners to create the right environment for and build trust in engineers to tackle some of society’s most pressing issues such as climate change.

Enginuity’s purpose is built upon a core value of creating no harm and the beneficiaries of achieving the purpose are individual engineers, engineering employers, future engineers, and the wider society.

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