Having attended the NOAH Internet Conference in London and listened to a number of guest speaks it really has dawned on me that we are living in a special time. The Internet Age is the New Industrial Revolution and we need to educate the children of today to embrace this new phenomena. The internet is transforming many industries and it’s the new gold rush.
It is important that children learn to work with computers and not against them as this will determine career success. The reality is a lot of work traditionally done by people is being automated by computers. Mobile technology, social networks and cloud computing are creating new companies and new industries.
Hence, the need for children to learn how to code computers. Our country needs to create things and this was traditionally done by manufacturing but perhaps now it’s about creating world class software and internet companies.
Marks and Spencer is being challenged by ASOS, Blockbuster by Lovefilm and Netflix. The next generation are wanting to work when they want and where they want leading to the popularity of websites such as People per Hour, Elance and oDesk.
We must not see the internet as a threat but as a real opportunity to change the world for the better. We must educate children in the new skills for the digital age and ensure their living standards are maintained. The rise of China and India is making competition for jobs increasingly competitive so we must differentiate ourselves.
Following a relaxing weekend my phone rang on Sunday evening and the BBC Breakfast TV producer was on the end of the line inviting me in to talk about horticulture as part of new proposals for the National Curriculum. So Monday morning started very early as Claire and I travelled over to Media City Salford to give an early morning TV interview. I was pleasantly surprised to see one of our existing customers Norris Bank Primary School in Stockport being included in the gardening footage. You can watch my short interview with Susanna Reid and Bill Turnbull below:
I would like to share with you a video I filmed recently for Invest in Bradford, an organisation that we are proud to work with as a fast growing business in our local community.
Here I outline some of the reasons for Webanywhere’s growth, and the role of local community community support in that growth.
From organisations such as Invest in Bradford and The Bradford University School of Management to individuals such as Tony Reeves, CEO of Bradford Council, and local MP Chris Hopkins, Webanywhere has benefited tremendously from the energy, resources and knowledge contained within our local area, and are proud to repay that support by creating high value jobs and opportunities.
As I mention in the video, we are fast approaching our 10th Anniversary – watch out for upcoming announcements on our birthday celebrations!
I have written in the past about our fruitful relationship with the Bradford University School of Management, and would like to let you know about a fantastic project we have collaborated on recently.
Webanywhere linked up with a group of students at the School of Management looking at entrepreneurship. As part of their final project the students met with business leaders in the Bradford area to look at the real life challenges facing their organisations, and were tasked with creating solutions.
A major issue for Webanywhere at the moment is managing recruitment. We are growing fast with new vacancies being created all the time (check out our Careers page to see our current vacancies – as you can see there are plenty of opportunities for the best and brightest!). As a result, we set the students the challenge of how to recruit and retain employees who are aligned with our company values.
I hosted a visit from the group to our offices in Keighley, providing them with an overview of our history, our culture and values, and our goals for the future. Our HR team then worked closely with the group on the specifics of our recruitment process: the type of people we look for and the issues we face in ensuring we recruit those able to drive growth and innovation
The students interviewed staff face to face, sent out staff surveys, and compiled an incredibly insightful report featuring several eminently practical solutions to the challenges we face.
I was incredibly impressed with the results of our collaboration, and I was not the only one! This Telegraph and Argus article details the positive impact another group of students from the Bradford School of Management had on this year Positive Bradford campaign.
We will be keeping in touch with the group, as it contains some exceptional individuals with bright futures, who would fit right in here at Webanywhere. We are already working on a new project with web development students at the University on an interactive online recruitment tool – watch this space!
I recently helped out with a project in Keighley, the location of Webanywhere HQ.
The project was a DVD production by pupils and staff from 15 of our local schools. Titled Every Day Counts, it was made to address the problem of poor school attendance in Keighley and the surrounding area. I helped out where I could and also featured on the recording. It was a pleasure to be a part of it and I’m glad people are focusing on such an important issue.
With attendance in our local area below the national average, I’d love to see an improvement. It’ll make a big difference to young people’s lives, as in the long run, children who go to school every day will always have the better job prospects.
Getting people into work is one of my passions and if there’s any way to help, I’m all for it.
The DVD was shown in our local cinema on Monday and even made the local BBC Look North News Bulletin. You can now watch Every Day Counts below. It features some really valuable insights from local customer, headteacher and community leader, John Devlin.
In the DVD, John shares some great tips on raising attendance, from a little bit of bribery to prizes each term. He also explains that they get tough if needs be, with fines and even prosecutions a possibility as well. With his attendance rising 2% in the last year, I’m really hoping people watch the video and listen to his advice.
John also made the point that “Attendance is absolutely essential. Better attendance means better achievement because the children are learning more and better achievement means better results which ultimately leads to better life choices.”
I don’t think I could have put it better myself.
Welcome! As MD of Webanywhere Ltd, I'm interested in everything to do with e-learning and the web.
Amongst my random thoughts and witterings, I'll keep this blog up to date with some of the best ideas and resources that I find online, plus snippets from our company news.