British technology firm UKFast is teaming up with Girlguiding to create a digital challenge badge.
The badge is designed with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning and will provide hands-on activities relevant to prepare for the modern technology landscape.
Women accounted for just eight per cent of core-STEM apprenticeships begun during 2016 and 2017, according to figures from WISE, which campaigns for better gender balance in these idustries.
“Girlguiding is evolving as the needs of girls have changed and that’s why challenge badges like these are so important,” said Girlguiding divisional commissioner Pam Plummer.
“We challenge the girls to get out there and try something different while giving them fantastic opportunities along the way.
“Working with partners like UKFast encourages the girls to work towards taking on roles in industries where female leadership and skills are urgently required.”
UKFast engineers have overseen the creation of the badge content.
The firm’s MD Gail Jones said: “I am thrilled we are able to help give the girls a taste of our digital world and to see how exciting a career in tech could be.
“We’ve created a practical badge that develops skills that are invaluable to our industry that sadly aren’t being taught in schools to the standards that we need. I can’t wait to see the girls’ feedback.”
The badge is available to Guide units across the globe, and offers an introduction to computer hardware, the internet, basic coding skills, app development and education on online safety and fake news.
The hosting provider, which works with 60,000 students from more than 60 educational institutions across Greater Manchester, is supporting the launch of the digital challenge badge by hosting a number of ‘digital parties’ at their Manchester headquarters.
The first of these parties took place with Guides and leaders from 2nd Northenden Guides.