Everton charity launches Digital Skills Lab

Everton in Community launches first Liverpool city region Digital Skills Lab to address the widening skills gap for young people. Tony McDonough reports

Digital Skills Lab
Everton in the Community has launched the Digital Skills Lab


Everton FC’s charitable arm Everton in Community (ETIC) has launched the city region’s first Digital Skills Lab for young people.

It will aim to equip people in Merseyside with vital digital skills and inspire an interest in science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM) subjects.

Based at The People’s Hub in Spellow Lane in Everton, it will offer young people access to iPads; LEGO Education; VR equipment and a VR pod; eSports and gaming; Sphero Robotics; A laser cutter and 3D printer; Drones; FIRST LEGO League; Makeblock; education; Ozobot coding robots; KUBO coding tools; IT skills; digital literacy courses.

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This follows research, undertaken by STEM Learning, which shows 89% of STEM businesses have found it difficult to recruit staff with the required skills. This has led to a shortfall of more than 173,000 workers. It equates to an average of 10 unfilled roles per business.

The lab focuses on a hands-on approach and is backed by industry experts CreativeHUT. It is funded by a group of philanthropists known as the ‘First Steam Squad’.


Digital Skills Lab
The Digital Skills Lab is backed by industry experts CreativeHUT


Sue Gregory, chief executive at EITC, said: “The launch of the Digital Skills Lab is a huge step for the E-STEAM programme. This will make a positive difference to the lives of children within the Liverpool city region.

“As we move towards the fourth industrial revolution, we are working with our partners to ensure young people in Merseyside are in the best possible positions for their futures and we’re extremely proud of just how much is on offer here.

“We’re particularly looking forward to seeing younger children who join us at the lab progress their skills and go onto engage with the more technically advanced activities here.”

The new initiative is part of EITC’s E-STEAM programme which launched in April last year. It delivers fun and imaginative learning to children aged five to 16 in 63 schools across the city region.

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