Microsoft to support UK digital enterprise youth scheme (Wired UK)


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Some of the world’s biggest and most prolific technology
companies have pledged to support the digital version of the Duke
of Edinburgh Award scheme, which was launched by the Duke of York
earlier this year.

Among those that have said they will contribute money and
resources to supporting the scheme are Microsoft, Telefonica,
Silicon Valley Bank, Mozilla, KPMG and Barclays.

The scheme has been devised together by the Duke of York and the
Nominet Trust with the hope that it will better equip
14-25-year-olds with digital, enterprise and entrepreneurial
skills. At the same time it has been designed to boost confidence
and ultimately improve employability.

Microsoft will provide funding, mentorship and workspace through
its London startup accelerator, Microsoft Ventures. It will also
develop a dedicated open skills badge for iDEA.

Accruing badges to represent certain skills is a central element
of iDEA, which probably makes it more akin to the Guide and Scout
movement than the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, but who are we to
quibble? The badge can be gained all year round, but once a year
there will be a competition that will allow people to take their
business plans to the next level. Those that succeed in this will
receive both mentorship and funding to take their ideas to the next
level.

Also lending their support to iDEA are Salesforce.com and the
University of Huddersfield. A pilot project involving 1,000 young
people is currently underway, but there will be a national launch
and roll-out in October, opening iDEA up to 25,000 more.

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21 August 2014 | 4:33 pm – Source: wired.co.uk

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