Last updated: 26.03.14

Charity opens digital learning centre for London's disadvantaged youth

A new digital learning centre has been established in London to help disadvantaged youngsters in the capital learn technology-based skills.

The new facility opened at the Prince's Trust Kennington Centre and is backed by Samsung, featuring plenty of the South Korean firm's latest hardware. 

According to Techradar, the new centre's creation was inspired by an unlikely source, none other than US popstar, who has remade himself as something of a technology advocate in recent years. 

The singer, producer and talent show judge, who also serves as a creative director for microprocessor maker Intel, has been vocal about the important role that technology has to play in shaping society. 

He reportedly spent time encouraging Martina Millburn, chief executive of the Prince's Trust, to place more of the charity's focus on ensuring that youngsters are giving every opportunity to learn the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and maths.

Ms Milburn said that this advice was crucial in helping her and others see that STEM subjects have an impact on all our lives. She told the paper: "Will went to talk to a group of our young people who asked him if they could have a contract in the music business, and he said: 'No, learn to code,' and that's where it's all heading.'

The Trust is dedicated to helping those young people currently not in work, education or training and does so through the provision of practical and financial advice, as well as development resources. Its Team Programme, for example, aims to offer young adults with work experience, training and practical qualifications.

However, the creation of new dedicated to digital resources shows the growing role that e-learning is having on education and in particular on vocational training. 

The beauty of using online resources is that they can reinforce and elaborate upon the real-life experiences and knowledge that trainees will be acquiring, providing much-needed context to their daily schedules and helping to ensure that they understand various processes and why they're important, rather than simply how they are expected to complete them.

The online component means that all this is done in a flexible way that can be fit around other work tasks and fit into pockets of spare time - in a way that wouldn't be possible for other forms of training.