Make It Digital

Major initiative will give a coding device to every child in year 7 across the UK, 1 million devices in total; create up to 5,000 digital trainees; partner with around 50 organisations; and launch a season of dedicated BBC programmes and online activity.

Published: 12 March 2015
BBC Make it Digital could help digital creativity become as familiar and fundamental as writing, and I’m truly excited by what Britain, and future great Britons, can achieve.
— Tony Hall, BBC Director-General

The BBC today launched Make it Digital – a major UK-wide initiative to inspire a new generation to get creative with coding, programming and digital technology.

The UK is facing a significant skills shortage with 1.4m digital professionals needed over the next five years.[1] BBC Make it Digital will capture the spirit of the BBC Micro, which helped Britain get to grips with the first wave of personal computers in the 1980s, for the digital age. It will put digital creativity in the spotlight like never before, and help build the nation’s digital skills, through an ambitious range of new programmes, partnerships and projects. These include:

  • A major partnership to develop and give a ‘Micro Bit’ coding device to all year 7 children across the UK for free to inspire a future generation - 1 million devices in total
  • A season of programmes and online activity involving the BBC’s biggest and best-loved brands, including Doctor Who, EastEnders, Radio 1, The One Show, Children in Need, BBC Weather and many more, including a new BBC Two drama about the creation of Grand Theft Auto, and a documentary on Bletchley Park
  • The Make it Digital Traineeship to create life-changing opportunities for up to 5,000 young unemployed people, the largest traineeship of its kind
  • Partnerships with around 50 major organisations across the UK, including Apps for Good, ARM, Barclays, British Computing Society, BT, Code Club, DWP, Google, iDEA, Microsoft, Nesta, Samsung, Skills Funding Agency, Tech City UK, the Tech Partnership, TeenTech, Young Rewired State
  • A range of formal education activities and events, including Bitesize, Live Lessons and School Report

Tony Hall, BBC Director-General, said: “This is exactly what the BBC is all about - bringing the industry together on an unprecedented scale and making a difference to millions. Just as we did with the BBC Micro in the 1980s, we want to inspire the digital visionaries of the future. Only the BBC can bring partners together to attempt something this ambitious, this important to Britain’s future on the world stage.

“BBC Make it Digital could help digital creativity become as familiar and fundamental as writing, and I’m truly excited by what Britain, and future great Britons, can achieve.”

BBC Make it Digital aims to get the nation truly excited about digital creativity. It will inspire audiences young and old through world-class TV, radio and online content, and focus on helping younger audiences discover their creative potential and take their first steps. Make it Digital will also amplify the great work already taking place across the UK through major initiatives with partners, and ensure young people can continue their learning journeys long after 2015.

Notes to Editors

[1] Digital Sector Skills Assessment, August 2014. Parthenon Analysis.