Nominet, the internet company best known for running the UK internet infrastructure, is today launching its digital skills training and work experience programme in Glasgow.
Unlike many other schemes, Nominet Digital Neighbourhood trains underprivileged young people aged 18-24 in a range of digital skills, and then offers them paid work experience opportunities with local SMEs who need digital expertise to take advantage of opportunities online. The initiative aims to help tackle the UK’s digital skills gap.
To mark the launch of Nominet Digital Neighbourhood, Nominet is releasing research which finds that 30% of 18-24 year olds in Glasgow struggle to find and finance work experience, with 44% of young Glaswegians forced to rely on personal savings to fund their time if they gain 2 weeks’ experience.
The Nominet Digital Neighbourhood programme, facilitated by youth-led creative network Livity, aims to train 175 young people and partner them with SMEs in its first year, as it reaches the cities of London, Cardiff, Leeds and Glasgow over the next two months.
The launch of the programme follows a successful pilot scheme which took place last year across Birmingham, London and Cardiff.
Russell Haworth, CEO, Nominet says: “Feedback from our pilot of the programme showed that both SMEs and young people said their confidence increased with each session spent together, and so with this endorsement we were pleased to develop the programme to provide opportunities for others to also improve their chances of success.
“It’s a bit like reinventing apprenticeships, but for the digital economy. By offering paid work placements and training expenses to the young people, we think the programme goes the extra mile toward valuing the candidates’ time and commitment and ensures that the training is relevant and accessible.”
Cassie-Drew, a student from Cardiff who took part in the pilot programme says: “I learnt a lot more than I thought I would, I think the program is a brilliant idea and will be telling other people about it.”
Richard Clements, founder of Clear Cut Solutions, the small business that was paired with Cassie-Drew, says: “Business-wise I have had a really great January (first week of the month was my biggest revenue since launching), this was off the back of an improved social media presence thanks to Cassie-Drew.”
Following feedback from the pilot, this year’s training scheme will be timetabled to fit around the young people’s studies and employment to avoid any impact on existing commitments. The young person partnering with local SMEs for work experience will also be paid in line with the London Living Wage.