I’m Linda Newton and I’m a Delivery Support Manager, and I’m James Peart and I'm a Delivery Manager.
Our recent events for school students to find out more about DWP Digital have been a great success but we wanted to do more. Last week we had two students from Gateshead and Jarrow with us for the week to get a more in-depth experience of digital, data and technology opportunities in DWP Digital.
Inspiring the North East’s next generation
We believe that the success of the government’s digital agenda relies on building motivated teams of talented professionals. Part of this is making sure that the next generation understands how important our work is and what their role in it could be.
To do this, we started an outreach campaign – elements of which we’ve previously blogged about:
- Inspiring the next generation
- Unlocking the future of STEM
- Helping the future generation solve tomorrow’s problems
- DWP Digital goes back to school
- Plus a range of events through Dynamo North-East
Most recently we’ve just finished hosting a week of work experience for two 15-year-old students from Cardinal Hume in Gateshead and Jarrow School. One of the students, Brandon, arranged the work experience after attending our first school visit event.
A week in the life of Digital, Data and Technology
The goal was to give the students a genuine experience of DWP Digital and an opportunity to lead a piece of work of their own.
The challenge was to develop a game using Scratch (a free programming language and online community where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations) through an agile approach that met a simpler version of the Digital Service Standard. We organised workshops to give them the necessary skills from prototyping to coding, and the support they needed to learn more.
Learning can be fun
We were impressed by just how engaged the students were. Even when they finished for the day, they carried on working at home, even getting their parents to play their games at night.
It was great to see their confidence grow through the week as they exceeded every challenge we set them. By the end of the week both had well-made games to present in their Show and Tell. It became a serious competition in our team to get the high scores.
Another great success
The experience was of great value to the students and ourselves. They even sent us thank you cards with feedback inspiring us to keep offering more. Here is a short extract:
“I have really enjoyed my time here. I have learned lots about DWP and IT. It has been fun and you have made it interesting.”
If you’re interested in working at DWP Digital, find out what opportunities we currently have; follow us on Twitter @DWPDigital, and view our latest jobs.