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Inspiring the Next Tech Generation

Neil Lathwood with students at the IT Diploma day

UKFast and Sale Sharks with the students

Neil Lathwood, UKFast’s IT Director and I visited Ashton-on-Mersey School earlier this week to give a helping hand on their ICT taster day. Basically, the plan was to get this group of 35 14-15 year olds hooked on the idea of doing the Level 2 ICT Diploma in years 10 and 11.

After brief introductions from Jim Seymour and Aaron Saxton (Head of ICT @ AoM), I gave a 10 minute introduction to UKFast taking the students on a journey from where the Internet evolved from and what UKFast does, to specific case studies about the biggest internet successes and how young people are involving themselves in the evolution of the internet and making money from it.

“Over 21,000 UK 15-16 year olds are making £60,000 a year online – almost 3 times average salary”

We had 3 separate workshops running through the day aimed at getting the students to think about different areas of UKFast’s business:

  • “Corporate event” – Plan a corporate event to invite a selection of UKFast’s top performing staff and a number of big clients to.
  • “Sharks” – Consider the section of the Sale Sharks site aimed at young people and come up with idea of content and a look to improve it
  • “wwwdot” – Come up with an idea of a website you are going to establish that will make you an internet millionaire – consider costs involved in setting it up as well as your unique selling point and how it will be a success.

Each group worked together all day and were given marks based on team work, innovative ideas and quality of the presentations.

The highlight of the day was the arrival of Sale Shark’s Charlie Hodgson and Lee Thomas to judge the best 3 teams of the day’s “wwwdot” presentations. The guys were really impressed with the ideas that the students came up with and how they plan to make the businesses a success. The lucky winners came up with “Viewpoint” – a website combining the best bits of Youtube and Facebook and all in a single place. For their efforts they are going to be special guests at a Sale Sharks fixture later in the season!

The ICT diploma is fantastic to be a part of and knowing that we are inspiring the next generation of Internet Entrepreneurs and Technology Wizards gives us all great satisfaction.

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