BayCode by ReDI School of Digital Integration - Germany
ReDI School of Digital Integration is a non-profit tech school that provides access to free digital education. Our goal is to accelerate the labor market integration and reduce the digital (gender) divide for refugees, migrants and locals without access to digital education.
With the approach of imparting digital knowledge and providing assistance to gain access to the labor market, ReDI meets the central social challenges of our time: the integration of refugees into society and the labor market, the imparting of digital knowledge and skills as well as the shortage of skilled workers in the German industry.
ReDI School of Digital Integration
The ReDI School mission is to provide education in order to break down barriers and bring together the leaders of tomorrow. We do that, by using technology to unleash human potential and create employment opportunities. Since its foundation in 2016, ReDI School has trained over 10,000 students and is now established in 8 locations across Europe. ReDI School has received the Eurocities Award 2022 together with its partnership with the municipality of Munich in the category of “Act together”.
With its initiative BayCode, ReDI School uses its strong correspondence to the public and private sector to provide an unique opportunity to Bavarian Youth: BayCode aims to digitally upskill 5,000 students between the ages of 11 and 18 in three years across all Bavaria. By collaborating with Bavarian schools, the initiative reaches all youth with various social and economical backgrounds and all genders, and focuses on rural locations with high migration.
Hackaton: learning by doing
The project attaches particular importance to addressing primarily target groups who have had little or no access to digital education. In a one day event taking place mainly in Bavarian schools, a “hackathon” is organized by ReDI School to deliver basic knowledge of a programming language, using the “learning by doing” approach. Volunteer tech-experts teach practical knowledge and act as role models by sharing their own stories and showing future career perspectives into the tech industry.
Further, BayCode supports the local networking of schools and regional companies and even brings hackathons directly to the companies. That way, schools and their students can connect with potential future employers directly and start collaborating beyond the event. After each “hackathon”, every individual student has programmed their own project and receives ideas and education material that helps them to continue their learning journey. Further, the students receive certificates of successful participation, signed by the Bavarian Minister for Digital Affairs and the head of the ReDI School in Bavaria - as an enclosure for future job applications.
Who are the beneficiaries of the initiative?
ReDI aims at providing free digital education for vulnerable groups in accordance with the Digital Decade goal to improve citizens’ digital skills. This fosters fair access to digital opportunities for everyone. ReDI also enables students to enter the job market with relevant skills by offering workshops on innovative technologies (e.g. AI, data and cloud technology). Students of the Digital Youth Program acquire skills enabling them to develop safe and secure digital technology.
Why is this a good practice?
“BayCode” aims at digitally upskilling vulnerable youth in Bavaria. Every student who finalizes the project has learned how to program a website. The Bavarian State Ministry for Digital Affairs funds the project and more than 30 (international) IT-partner companies support it with more than 160 volunteer trainers (IT experts, students and trainees) and hackathon locations, fostering the link between schools and the local economy. Students get insights into the IT sector and acquire knowledge. This helps to contribute to a competitive environment for SME and safe cybersecurity practices. The companies present themselves to potential job candidates.
Since 2021, almost 3,000 students have participated in this project. The aim for the next 1,5 years and beyond is to increase the impact of the project activities throughout Bavaria and to include local partner companies in rural regions, reaching 5,000 Bavarian students until Spring 2024 and 10,000 participants by 2028.