Building atop an initiative set forth in the 1980’s, BBC Britain will help build an all-new generation of video game and hardware designers with the new “Micro Bit”.

Thanks to the new Make it Digital initiative, children in year 7 of school all across the UK can learn how to use and program for computer hardware. Boasting 1 million devices, creating 5,000 digital trainees in partnership with 50 organizations, BBC is helping bring the nation up to global standards to help fill a growing market. With 1.4 million digital professionals needed over the next five years, BBC’s “Make It Digital” program will bring back the heart of the successful BBC Micro of the 80’s.

Here’s what BBC plans to bring to the national community through this program:

  • 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 based on 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

When speaking for the official BBC website, Tony Hall, BBC Director-General, said this:

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.”

This is a fantastic opportunity for the United Kingdom and young developers in the nation. Let’s hope that programs like this inspire the international community to continue on the trend – especially considering that the BBC is now as much an international phenomenon as it is a local mainstay, all thanks to the original initiative.