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Free digital skills courses come to Scotland

See featured article at the National Newspaper about the Accenture Digital Skills courses and the collaboration with Young Enterprise Scotland to help students improve their skills!

Below you can see the original article or you can follow this link to read through at the National's website.

A FREE programme of online courses designed to help tackle the digital skills shortage is being rolled out across Scotland following a successful pilot with Young Enterprise Scotland (YES).

A partnership between YES and Accenture Digital Skills will also see seven digital training courses, hosted on FutureLearn, promoted to schools and colleges, Education Scotland and the College Development Network Scotland.They have been designed to offer the knowledge and skills needed to survive in the digital economy to young people, entrepreneurs, people returning to work and those looking to re-skill.One of the first to benefit from the programme was Glasgow jewellery designer Claire Halligan, who appreciated the need for her to become digital-savvy.

The 22-year-old completed Accenture's Digital Marketing course after finishing college and now creates jewellery for her own business, Pop Up Jewellery.

"Personally, I think technology and social media is a language in itself. So, my biggest challenge and on-going target is working on my social media," she said.

"At first I didn't know how to write an eye-catching post or use my social media to show my journey although now I have started writing a blog and have got better at writing posts on Facebook. Using digital technologies as a catalyst for my business was huge for me. Right now, I have four main social media which I use to engage with my clients, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

"Along with social media I also have my online store which is not only a way for my customers to buy from me online I also use it as a digital portfolio.

"These days everything is online and if you can master the language of social media then it will really push your business."

Brian McEwan, programme manager at YES, said: "The Accenture Digital Skills Programme has been a fantastic addition to the tools YES use to engage with students and young people.

"The courses give them a feel for innovative online learning through the FutureLearn MOOC [online open courses platform], on subjects they can relate to, that are relevant, interesting and useful for when they start their careers."

YES and Accenture will showcase the programme at this year's Festival of Youth Enterprise, which takes place at Hampden in June.

The courses are designed to help learners make sense of the ever-evolving digital landscape, from understanding the basics to more advanced concepts and how to apply them.

They feature experts from across Accenture, with animated bite-sized videos and quizzes as well as social interaction and collaboration with other learners.

The learning materials include case studies, career guides and signposts to further education and work experience opportunities.

"It's critical that the UK has access to a talent pool that helps us maintain our position as a leading digital economy," said Olly Benzecry, UK and Ireland chairman and managing director for Accenture. "Businesses have a responsibility to help shape the workforce based on the skills we need."

Simon Nelson, FutureLearn's chief executive, added: "For those entering the job market, having proficient digital skills is imperative; school students and indeed university students will graduate into jobs that don't yet exist."