digital skills : ACORN ACCELERATOR 2016
Nearly one in four of the UK adult population – 12.6m adults – lacks key basic digital skills, according to GO ON UK. This gap has many causes and implications, but high on the list is jobs, because those who lack digital skills are more likely to be unemployed. This is more significant to young people, given that the youth unemployment rate is 14.4% and people aged 16 to 24 are three times more likely to be out of work than the rest of the working population. It is estimated that over 4.4 million IT jobs will be created around Big Data, but only a third of these new jobs will be filled.
At Acorn Aspirations we strongly believe that if young people are inspired to create technology from an early age, they will be better equipped to face the constantly changing digital world we live in and contribute as creators of technology and change-makers to solve the most pressing local and global problems.
In the last 7 months we have inspired 250 teenagers through hackathons, workshops, events and mentoring by tech experts and entrepreneurs. We have engaged more than 150 mentors who volunteered their time and offered their expertise to inspire young people on their journeys in tech entrepreneurship. We have partnered with SkillsMatter, Salesforce, Oracle Academy, Kano, TechWillSaveUs, WomenWhoCode, Ada’s List, WHFNP and many others to offer participants prizes and experiences, including work experience and workshops.
Acorn Accelerator will offer young people aged 12-19 an opportunity to discover the development processes which lie behind the apps that they use on their mobiles and build one of their own. Additionally, we aim to ignite and spark young people’s imaginations through our mission to move away from “coding” interpretation of tech into wider aspects of technology such as Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics and demonstrate how tech is providing solutions to worldwide problems daily.