The Technology Innovation team at Sussex Downs College is working on a new initiative to recognise student achievement and boost the local software and IT sector.

The ‘Digital Vocational Badges’ project aims to capture the skills that employers are really looking for and then build them as badges using Mozilla’s OpenBadges platform. It’s supported by funding from Ufi charitable trust.

Open Badges represent a sharable, portable and verifiable way of demonstrating skills and achievements. Being digital, they can contain links to the criteria and evidence required to earn the badge.

I lead the team and we recently ran a workshop where 10+ representatives from different software companies shared their ideas of the main entry level roles they typically recruit, before choosing two roles to focus on badging.

A diverse set of badge ideas were generated including some surprising ones like ‘6th sense’ and ‘Human Shield’, but finally six were selected as the most fundamental to define the badge criteria and evidence.

There’s huge potential in badging as a mechanism to reward and recognise the achievements of young people. Look out for ‘Rocket Builder’ and ‘Android App Builder’ badges coming soon to TechResort.

To find out more about the Digital Badges Project follow @SDCInnovation or read our blog at blog.sussexdowns.ac.uk/innovation.