The importance of working with young people is absolutely fundamental to the bridging of the digital skills gap. We should be working with young people at an early age, not just at GCSE when it is too late and their minds are made up as to the direction they feel they should take. We do not forget the part that parents and teachers play in influencing their children and students and we want to help educate and make them understand the importance digital skills and tech plays in our lives now and will play in the future.
One thing the pandemic has demonstrated is the digital divide within certain pockets within our city and region. Families and young people are having to choose food over connectivity and in some cases all having to share one device between many siblings, which is causing many children fall behind in their education. We are supposedly living in a digital and modern era and this is simply not good enough. Digital inclusion should be for all and we want to help ensure that people have access to connectivity and devices.
The topic of diversity and inclusion has come to the forefront over the last 12 months following the unlawful killing of George Floyd back in May 2020. This is a pivotal time in our history; to educate; to make a change in our organisations and to no longer stand on the sidelines. It should not matter who we are, what are background, where we come from or what our gender, but we should now stand together and be allies, in order to make a positive change. Birmingham and the West Midlands is one of the most diverse populations in the UK but this is not represented in the tech industry.
Video diaries with people from diverse backgrounds in the tech industry - we want to hear from you!
The goal is to create an annual digital skills conference to connect all of the dots from the tech eco-system. Young people cannot be inspired if they have nothing to be inspired by and this annual regional digital skills conference will bring together schools, digital skills providers, tech companies, role models and whoever wants to play a part in inspiring, educating and more importantly being a vehicle for change. This is what we believe will be fundamental if we are to bridge the digital skills gap, be more inclusive and ensuring that digital access can be achieved for all.
As of August 2021, The Brum Muse is now a community interest company. Now the hard work begins as we set out to empower the next-gen of tech talent who will be tasked with building an online portal that will be thebrummuse.io.
If you are interested in hearing more or being part of the journey, then please get in touch