Practical guidelines for businesses thinking of directing their employee volunteering time towards supporting young people in developing digital skills. Created in collaboration with the Tech Partnership.
The business case for supporting young digital making with employee volunteering time, including:
- The importance of young people developing digital skills.
- The business case for employee volunteering in general.
- The 5 specific benefits for businesses supporting young digital making with employee volunteering time, including:
1. Corporate profile enhancement.
2. Future customer insight - understanding a post-millenial generation.
3. Developing and motivating existing talent.
4. Recruiting new talent.
5. Inspiring future talent.
Practical advice on setting up a company volunteering programme in this area, including:
- An overview of the different nationwide opportunities in digital skills volunteering, both in and out of the school classroom; from inspiring young people about digital careers through to sharing practical digital making skills.
- What to expect from volunteering in this field and what questions to ask potential partner teaching providers who are looking for assistance from volunteers.
- Case studies of corporates already supporting young digital making through volunteering, such as Barclays, Tata Consultancy Services and Talk Talk.
The use of digital technologies across UK businesses is almost universal, and is forecast to grow. But the digital skills gap is threatening growth in all sectors with profound implications for company development of existing employees, recruitment of new employees, and for inspiring the employees of the future.
The good news is that young people are enthusiastic about the digital world and keen to develop their digital skills. There is a small but growing network of organisations offering young people opportunities to learn about digital careers and make things using digital technologies. Two-thirds of these organisations rely on volunteers, but they are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit the number of volunteers they need. Only by mobilising volunteers from industry - to both inspire and teach - can we meet the rising demand for developing young people's skills in ways that motivate them to consider a career in the digital economy.
For companies supporting young digital making through volunteering, it can align Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts with investment in their future digital workforce. There are already some inspiring examples of tech businesses working with digital making provider organisations, but currently less than 1 per cent of tech employees volunteer in this area.
This guide, developed in collaboration with the Tech Partnership, aims to make the case for why businesses should get involved, and provides some practical guidelines on how they can.
Sylvia Lowe and Niel McLean