We never take for granted the incredible start we have got off to here at Fire Tech Camp but we also wouldn’t have taken the plunge and begun offering camps if we didn’t think a demand existed. As a mum, I could see first-hand that this demand existed, having entrusted my kids to similar organisations over in the US. Every year, 20,000 US mums also do the same thing. Equally heartening has been the interest we've had from people asking for help in setting up Fire Tech Camps around not only the UK but also Europe.
How Businesses Can Get Involved
We are already forecasting that next year we expect to see a four-fold increase in the number of young people attending our camps. In the UK over the last 6-12 months there has been a real awakening to just what an essential skill tech knowledge is for the modern world we live in. You need to be a native speaker and for that you have to start young. I have always wanted Fire Tech Camp to be available to all young people, of all backgrounds – a dream that while we are still in our infancy, will only be realised by having on-going support from corporate partners.
Since inception, we have been able to self-fund a limited number of scholarships but like the rest of the business, we have ambitious plans to grow this element of what we do. Ultimately, we want to be in a position to offer scholarship places to 10% or more of all our participants. This currently equates to 25 scholarships per annum, rising to 100 next year and providing free places at the day camp, and also at special events, some of which will be organised with charity or academic partners. We look to identify scholarship candidates mainly by working with partners who are already active in the sector, including charitable organisations and social enterprises such as the NSPCC and Teach First, and outreach programmes from Universities and local foundations. There are also many other ways that business can work with us to ensure the ongoing success of our programme, including hosting or sponsoring venues or equipment such as computers, electronics equipment or even a 3D printer!
Benefits for Sponsors
We are proud to be doing our bit to set the next generation of technology leaders on the road to success and see many benefits for sponsors who can support us on this journey. Sponsors will get the satisfaction of playing a credible role in the solution to the digital talent shortfall, have concrete exposure to the campers, their families, and our university tutors and professors as we emphasise their role in education, innovation and community support. Business in particular should be concerned that young people will not learn how to live, work and cope in this digitally driven world without having a deep cultural understanding of how it works. They are the consumers, employees, investors and regulators of the future and the majority are currently not destined to get there because they are sat in classrooms, measured by set targets, removed from digital society and banned from the open web.
Not every young person needs to be a programmer, but everyone should at the very least be equipped with a fundamental understanding of the world they are growing into. Please get in touch to sponsor scholarships and work with Fire Tech Camp in other ways as a valued partner: firstname.lastname@example.org.