The YMCA in Paisley has received a £30k funding boost to create a hub for young people to build their creative digital skills and get ready for the job market.
Once suitable premises are found they will be designated as a makerspace – a collaborative work space where people can create, invent and learn using digital technology. Participants will be able to learn about everything from robotics and coding to app development and video game design.
The Children in Need funding will help provide young people with access to software/hardware, training, certification and workshops direct from Microsoft, SQA Digital, Google, Apple, Raspberry Pie Academy and Coder Dojo Scotland.
The aim of the programme is to inspire young people to consider careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects and improve their digital skills to help them find work.
By participating in the sessions young people will be able to take their ideas from inception to implementation, producing a physical product at the end of the course.
The funding is a boost for Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 – which aims to use creative industry and digital technology to help people out of poverty and drive up life chances.
YMCA Paisley is an active member of the Renfrewshire Digital Participation group that helped shape Renfrewshire Council’s Digital Strategy of which digital participation and increasing digital skills is at the core.
Darran Gillan, Youth and Programme Development Manager at Paisley YMCA, said: “Young people living in Renfrewshire are experiencing high levels of digital literacy issues that act as a barrier to employment and education opportunities in later life, particularly a lack of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) opportunities for young people who are ready to leave secondary education for the world of work.
“The great thing about being a makerspace is that it can help young people build digital skills that will make them more employable and will also dispel the myth that you have to be good at maths and sciences to be good at technology.
“Through previous projects we have seen young people create their own coding clubs and virtual reality videos to address things like cyber bullying and learn how to promote their creations. I look forward to seeing the creations the young people in our makerspace sessions will produce.”
The sessions will start in July and will take place on Thursday and Friday evenings from 5pm-7pm for 8-11 year-olds and 7pm-9pm for 12 – 18 year-olds.
For more information on the makerspace sessions please visit www.paisleyymca.org.