Backed by Incremental, Digital Xtra Fund continue to make extracurricular computing and digital activities widely accessible to young people throughout Scotland

Since launching in 2016, Digital Xtra Fund (DXF), a Scottish-based charity, has awarded £875,000 in funding to digital skills initiatives, helping primary and secondary schools – as well as colleges, universities, libraries and other educational bodies – engage thousands of young people in meaningful digital tech activities across Scotland.

DXF’s core objective is to inspire young people to learn digital technologies skills through high quality, exciting extracurricular activities, thus expanding the talent pipeline of young people who study technology related disciplines and ultimately pursue a career in digital technologies.

With the help of industry partners, such as Incremental Group, in 2022 DXF supported 22 initiatives around Scotland. A total of £90,000 was awarded for digital skills activities across 30 local authorities. The initiatives positively engaged 7,167 young people in technology, over 50% of which were girls and young women.

The 50:50 gender split between boys and girls is of significant importance to the trust as it adheres to DXF’s goal of increasing diversity and inclusion of females in technology – an industry in which they continue to be underrepresented. Reducing the gender digital skills gap is an area Incremental is committed to supporting, with initiatives across the business (and externally) that support women in joining the industry, reskilling in tech or returning to work within the technology sector.

DXF 2022 grants helped children of all ages, promoting digital technologies as an interesting and engaging subject from a very young age. The split in terms of age of children helped in 2022 stands at:

  • 269 children of an early learning & childcare stage,
  • 4,809 children of primary age,
  • 2,089 secondary school children.

Other 2022 highlights for Digital Xtra Fund include:

  • Donating 1,130 micro:bits to schools and organisations across Scotland in partnership with the Micro:bit Educational Foundation, including 660 micro:bits during COP26 for activities related to climate tech.
  • Organising engagements for 51 industry professionals and facilitating approximately 103.5 volunteer hours with 1,325 young people, demonstrating just how interesting and rewarding a career in the tech industry can be.
  • Working with the Scottish Government on its new “Building Trust in the Digital Era” report by managing the development of three new activities to engage young people in the ethics of tech. Specifically, the activities look at bias in algorithms, ethics of cyber security and surveillance, and the role of a Digital Ethicist and ethics within a company or organisations.
  • Launching a new “Code Like Kids” session, teaching partners how to use some of the more popular equipment purchased by our grant recipients (and hopefully inspiring more of them to volunteer with tech/code clubs).

Incremental’s Head of Marketing and DXF panelist, Rebecca Court, said, “The Digital Xtra Fund undertakes such important work across Scotland in terms of reducing the digital skills gap that is all too apparent in the Scottish technology industry. I am particularly passionate about driving more women into the industry to help to close this skills gap and I am delighted Incremental continues to support the great grassroots work Digital Xtra Fund undertakes to get girls and young women excited by technology and the possibility of a career in the industry.”

With the support of partners like Incremental, DXF can continue to increase exposure and advance the education of Scotland’s young people, in the subjects of technology, digital and computing science. Incremental Group is proud to support the STEM charity, helping it to drive digital skills for young people in schools and organisations throughout the country. If you would like to find out more information about Digital Xtra Fund or would like to get involved, please click here.