Generation Code Accelerator is a programme designed by UK Youth to support the lack of embedded, sustainable digital provision in the youth sector. This means we worked with a small group of youth organisations over a year to use bring more digital into their work. This included running digital skills workshops, bringing in local volunteers from the tech sector, and educating young people about opportunities to find work in the tech sector. Download the Generation Code Accelerator – Handbook for more details.
This page is a collection of our top tips and resources from this programme for both youth workers and young people.
The tech industry is one of the fastest growing sectors and can provide exciting career opportunities. There are many different roles working related to digital, so whether you like working individually or as a team, prefer working on coding or are great at talking to clients, there is something for everyone.
Tech industry myth busting
Watch the Microsoft Apprentices below discussing common questions they get about working in the tech industry.
Bringing more digital into youth work doesn’t mean losing out on face-to-face or in-person interactions or relationships.
In our fast-moving digital world, young people often do have a base level of digital skills. Through embedding more digital aspects into youth work we aim to help young people develop their digital skills further and to introduce new skills, develop enjoyable hobbies, and increase career options.
Being creative is a huge part of digital projects – here are some of our favourite examples from the programme:
Creating a podcast
Young people from Aik Saath have begun recording and produce their own podcast after investing in some recording equipment.
Equipment needed = Microphone (headphone mic or a professional mic), laptop and editing software (free or paid versions)
Riley from Young Lincolnshire created this funny stop-motion film – we love the sound effects he’s edited in!
Equipment needed = A smart phone, an editing app and a subject to photograph (models, plasticine, legos or real people)
Google “Stop Motion videos” for tons of ideas on how to make your own.
Creating 3D models
Young people from Youth Scotland and Eritrean Youth Club explored the world of 3D modelling, using a free online application called Tinkercad. The platform, used by people of all ages and skill levels, can be used to create 3D models and export them for 3D printing.
Equipment needed = A laptop or computer. No download required.
If 3D modelling isn’t your thing, Tinkercad can also support you to learn about electronics and coding.
You may also have success with local offices or organisations to ask if they are able to donating any of their old equipment. In the mean time, why not try using smart phones to learn coding or create and edit videos.
There are also offline coding games which are great for beginners
It could be also worth asking around for volunteers at local tech companies or organisations with digital roles – lots of companies now encourage their employees to take volunteering days so they might be interested in supporting a session or answering questions about their career in tech.
Coding or digital skills sessions don’t seem exciting enough
Digital is so broad that it is almost always possible to find a connection to something that the young people do find interesting. Whether this is in the arts, gaming or even sports. Exploring these themes and looking for examples in the real world can help to spark interest and break down misconceptions about working in tech.
These Hackathon style challenges help young people think creatively about how technology is used to improve many aspects of our lives. Try one of these or make up your own:
I’m struggling with delivering great sessions virtually
Delivering online can pose various challenges, just as delivering face-to-face can. Our tips for delivering great sessions online over Zoom or a similar platform are included in this guide, including advice on safeguarding, risks and working in groups
UK Youth would like to thank each of our Generation Code Accelerator delivery partners. We commend and celebrate each of you for the way that you adapted and welcomed change throughout the programme, demonstrating immense resilience and optimism during recent circumstances especially.
We would also like to thank and celebrate all of our Digital Champions for volunteering their time and enthusiasm to the project.
A huge and very special thanks to Microsoft for partnering with us and for endlessly supporting UK Youth through partnership initiatives with their staff, volunteers and resources. We proudly look back at all the projects that we have been able to realise together.
Like Microsoft, we strongly believe that to close the digital skills gap, we must not only continue to support young people but also drive support to those already in-work, enabling them to learn essential new skills. This has never been more needed than for the youth sector and the thousands of dedicated Youth Workers that operate within it.
The UK Youth & Microsoft Partnership timeline
2020 – 2021
Generation Code trained 40 Master Tutors across eight regions, London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Ipswich, Kent and Devon. These youth workers were provided with the knowledge and resources to deliver the Generation Code curriculum to other youth workers in their network, through a 6-hour training day. The 40 Master Tutors have deliver Generation Code to 170 Tutors.
A Generation Code digital platform was created for groups to learn and practice coding skills and collect badges along the way.
UK Youth delivered 10 Inspiration days across the UK, 5182 young people participated with support from 126 Youth workers and 195 Code Champions.
The Generation Code Showcase Hackathon brings together youth workers, young people and tech experts from across the UK to celebrate Generation Code and inspire young people to discover the possibilities of technology.
The pilot of Generation Code Accelerator kicks off with a Training Day at Soapbox Islington. 13 youth organisations with the ambition to upskill and improve digital provision join the programme.
2020 – 2021
Generation Code Accelerator delivers in locations across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Delivery Partners work with young people to assess the digital skills gap, to test digital skills sessions, build organisation partnerships and develop digital strategies.
Our Tech Support Fund distributed just under £50k in small grants to support organisations with tech and delivering digital projects in 2021.