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The first step to a career in Scotland’s growing digital sector is being offered to young people thanks to an exciting new pilot initiative.

BBC Make It Digital in Scotland is giving people aged 16 to 24 who are unemployed the chance to gain skills and work experience in areas such as social media, search engine optimization and digital marketing.

The project is being delivered as a partnership between Skills Development Scotland (SDS), BBC Scotland, the Department of Work and Pensions and six regional colleges across Scotland, with funding delivered through the Employability Fund.

Minister for Youth and Women's Employment Annabelle Ewing helped launch the initiative at Hill Street Design House in Edinburgh where she met with young people taking part and creative sector businesses offering work placements.

She said: “Our commitment to young people remains strong and building digital skills is central to that. Projects like this will lead a concerted effort to develop Scotland’s young workforce by strengthening links between industry, education and training.

“Our aim is to reduce the number of young people unemployed in Scotland and we are determined to work with employers and industry partners to ensure that more of our young women and men can secure sustainable and rewarding jobs by gaining experience, building skills and confidence in order to access the labour market.”

Competitiveness and Innovation

Training lasts for eight weeks with participants using industry standard software to learn about skills including web development, planning a social media campaign, shooting and editing video and pitching ideas.

Wider employability skills will also be covered such as business networking, CVs and interviews, budgeting and project management.

David Martin, Creative Industries Key Sector Manager at Skills Development Scotland said: “We have worked in partnership with industry to develop a Skills Investment Plan for Scotland’s creative sector which highlights the importance of digital skills for competitiveness and innovation.

“BBC Make It Digital in Scotland is a key initiative in this respect as it helps foster those skills and offers young people a route to a career in a fast-moving and exciting part of our economy.”

The pilot forms part of the BBC’s UK-wide Make it Digital initiative which aims to inspire a new generation to get creative with coding, programming and digital technology.

D-I Brown, Head of Talent and Editorial Operations at BBC Scotland said: “The Creative Industries is a vibrant and rewarding environment to work in and BBC Scotland wants to encourage young people to get the skills that will give them a flying start when choosing their preferred profession.

“We believe this short programme will give the participants some of the skills to realise their creative potential and to deliver content that audiences and consumers can enjoy.”

Great collaboration

Participants will spend the first four weeks at one of Scotland’s regional colleges before undertaking a three-week work placement with a creative sector employer. The final week of the course is spent back at college completing portfolios for final assessment.

Dumfries and Galloway College, Dundee and Angus College, Edinburgh College, City of Glasgow College, Glasgow Clyde College and Glasgow Kelvin College are all taking part.

Jon Buglass, head of Creative Industries at Edinburgh College, said: “Digital skills are so important across all industries now and colleges have a vital role in developing a young workforce ready to support the growth of modern businesses.

“BBC Make it Digital is a great collaboration between all the partners. It’s helping us widen access to digital opportunities, giving unemployed young people the chance to learn these skills as well as about the kinds of education and career opportunities in digital areas they may not have known existed before.”

Visit Digital World to find out more about the range of careers on offer in Scotland's digital sector.

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