YE Digital Success at Business Awards

Posted By:
Young Enterprise N.I. Ltd.

6th Aug 2021

Young Enterprise NI wins Belfast Telegraph Award for best use of Digital for their online learning delivery.

Young Enterprise was delighted to win the Belfast Telegraph Award for the best use of digital this year, for the development of their online learning platform YE Academy.

Given the disruption to schooling and concerns about future youth employment prospects, the charity wanted to make sure that young people still got the opportunity to develop an enterprising mindset and build their business skills.

“The adoption of education technology was an area YE planned to develop in the longer term, and the last year has provided an unexpected opportunity to develop this digital offering, for use during the pandemic and in the longer term. We are so proud to win this award, as it recognises the achievements of the team in building YE Academy over the last year.”   

Carol Fitzsimons MBE, CEO of Young Enterprise NI

The system provides digital support to provide valuable learning opportunities to the young people we work with, regardless of restrictions. They have the opportunity to develop the skills that employers valued the most in the pandemic environment – namely innovation, creativity, flexibility and communication skills.

Working with global colleagues in Young Enterprise – Junior Achievement the in-house team built a Learning Management System to be able to manage and scale a range of programmes for all ages.

Everyone had a role to play. The Finance team took on login creation and admin support. The delivery team created video content of both themselves and volunteers. A small team worked on the back end of the LMS, building the online content. The marketing team created explainer videos and encouraged schools to get involved.

The new way of working was implemented at speed with local educators and direct to students, at a time when there was a real need to let young people continue to develop those skills we need as employers, at a time when it was almost impossible for them to do so.

During the full 2020/21 academic year, over 50,000 young people registered for the programmes from over 200 educational centres, at Primary, Post Primary and Tertiary levels.

Feedback from the schools was great – “I just wanted to say that I’ve been working through your programme with my Primary 6 class and we are really enjoying it, thank you! The children were planning their new products for the International marketing challenge this afternoon and really enjoyed it! They were excited, involved and engaged and had some super ideas. The programme has been so easy to work through, is interesting and has taught the children new skills which will hopefully help them in their future.   I also have a pupil working from home at the moment and she hasn’t missed out as I was able to send home to book and the links.  It has made my life a lot easier and the children have enjoyed seeing some other friendly faces and hearing some voices other than mine. “ 

As the charity looks towards the academic year ahead, the digital delivery format has been added to traditional face-to-face delivery options, which enhances the options to schools and allow for increased number of young people having the opportunity to access Young Enterprise experiences.