Last updated: 14.01.14

Unwanted laptops wanted for digital learning project

Kent businesses are being urged to donate any unwanted laptops to an initiative helping young people improve their digital skills.

The Encouraging Programming in Kent (Epik) scheme has called for donations of at least 20 laptops before March this year, so that the youngsters receiving help can gain valuable IT experience, the Canterbury Times reports.

Technology is becoming increasingly integral to society, particularly company operations, and being able to code, design and use online platforms is likely to be a necessity in future.

According to Epik spokesman Dorine Flies, the project is an ideal opportunity to discover talent, and the events held by the founders inspire and support participants' natural interests in focused ways around making with digital technology.

However, the programme is lacking sufficient funding to supply young people with the laptops they need to develop their new skills, which is why companies could be serving a great cause by giving away any machines they no longer need or use.

Epik is asking for the laptops to be donated before it takes part in a careers event organised by Kent County Council in the spring.

Ms Flies, who also works for local software company ionCube, said Epik is hoping to create a similar scheme to the one that loans musical instruments to talented young individuals, "so that when we and our peers find a talent with no tools, for want of a laptop, we don't lose that talent".

In order for businesses themselves to prepare for the future generation of digitally-skilled workers, they may need to ensure their offices are equipped with the technology these employees need to thrive.

This could mean rolling out e-learning instead of holding trainer-led sessions, which a recent Training Zone blog claimed needs enhancing from tools like video clips and computer games so that they are more engaging and effective.

Companies that are interested in giving a laptop to Epik can do so by visiting the project website or Facebook page and email the relevant contacts.