Digital Skills Opportunities for Young People

There is a range of free online learning programmes and short courses that can help you improve your basic skills or focus on developing skills needed to enter the Tech Sector.

The iDEA Award

The iDEA Award (The Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award) is described as an international programme that helps you develop digital, enterprise and employability skills for free. You complete a series of online challenges and collect badges when successful. Each badge has points and 250 points gets you your Bronze Award, an industry-recognised award. Read more about it here.

There are a whole range of badges available to do for your Bronze Award. These are just a few.

Lancashire’s Skills Bootcamps

Skills Bootcamps are intensive and flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector specific skills and fast track to an interview with a local employer. You have to be 19+ to take part in one.

Designed with employers, participants will gain the in-demand skills to move into or progress in their chosen sector. Participants will be offered a GUARANTEED job interview for real job upon completion.

Bootcamps are presently available in cyber security, data analytics, digital marketing, electech and software development. More will be available later in the year.

For more information on all the available Skills Bootcamps, click here.

Digital Wings (Barclays)

The Barclays’ Digital Wings platform offers a wide range of online training modules and webinars in four categories – essentials, home, work and business. Ranging from setting up a device, to improving communication skills, to cyber security and data related training. To have a look – click here.

Lloyds Bank Academy

The Lloyds Academy is packed with free digital skills learning for any level. There is a wide range of courses available to choose from such as:

Office 365

Whether you want to learn the basics of office apps such as Excel or Word or work smarter, after learning new tips and tricks, the Office 365 Training Center offers a range of training for you to access for free.

Microsoft Learn Student Hub

This platform has a whole range of free self-paced training options often with free certification. You may be ready and interested to take on some AI Challenges – “Each module is a fun and engaging way to learn how to create an AI-empowered solution from scratch. You will get a clear specification and a set of resources to help you along the way.”

Or if you want to learn more introductory skills on how best to use Microsoft’s AI offer, Copilot, you could try this 30min introduction to Copilot . Then you could follow this up with a module on exploring the possibilities with Copilot for Microsoft 365 . If you want to take your skills further, try optimise and extend Copilot for Microsoft 365 and look at best practice, effective prompts and plugins.

Skills for All from Cisco

Free online courses for tech jobs – take courses and gain digital badges that can demonstrate your skills to potential employers. You could be curious about tech in general or ready to build your career in a specific area, courses in foundational tech topics cover areas like CybersecurityNetworkingPython, and Data Science.

Click here for further info.

Institute of Coding – Click Start

Click Start is the Institute of Codes new nationwide training programme that aims to “give you the digital skills you need to get better pay and job opportunities.” It is designed by university experts and industry specialists, but you don’t need to be at University to access the courses. The Click Start courses cover various topics, with online and hybrid teaching options around the country.

Many of our Click Start programmes offer additional support, such as career advice and mentoring. The courses are completely FREE for eligible learners (generally between 18-30). Some are face to face but some are online.


Training by Google

Google has a range of training programmes you may find useful.

Grow Google

Grow Google – online courses designed for you to grow your career or business. Courses cover topics such as AI, Coding, data and tech, digital marketing or career development.

Google Cloud

Google Cloud offers new AI, cybersecurity, and data analytics training to unlock job opportunities (free at beginner level).

Google’s Applied Digital Skills

Applied Digital Skills – 250+ hours of content for teachers to use with students to teach digital skills or can be used independently by students. Designed for all levels of ability to use.




Want to find careers information?

Start Lancashire

Start Lancashire is a careers portal specifically focused on Lancashire. You can explore digital and IT careers in Lancashire via the portal – click here. There is a specific page for Cyber Security.

CompTIA – Want to know more about Future Tech

​​​You may also find this free and growing library of resources created by CompTIA useful in keeping you up to speed on what’s new and next – go to their Future of Tech site to find out more about big data, cybersecurity, digital health, internet of things and artificial intelligence.

Check out the video as an example of the information you can find out!

Digital World

Digital World is a Scottish careers website that does a fab job of explaining the different careers in tech that are available across the UK. It is really good at looking at how these jobs happen in different sectors such as health, food and drink, energy or creative.


UK Cyber Security Council 

The UK Cyber Security Council (UKCSC) have a number of interesting resources to help you understand careers in Cyber.

1. Cyber Career Framework shows 16 specialisms within cyber security. We often talk about careers in cyber security as if it was just one type of job! Which is like saying there are doctors and they all do the same thing, when we know doctors specialise in many different areas. This framework helps to show the differences in each cyber careers or role at a junior and senior level, the types of skills and knowledge, attributes and attitudes you would need to do each specialism.

2. FAQs on Careers Advice – how do I get in to Cyber?

3. Cyber Access Hub – a resource hub for young people aged 13-19 including a link to – 30min skills games including ‘how to rob a bank’, how to solve a murder’ and ‘defend a rhino.’


Cyber Security Specific Online Training Resources

1. Amazon– Cyber Security Awareness Training. Fun and impactful cybersecurity training, provided by Amazon.

2. CISCO– Introduction to Cyber Security – This introductory course takes you inside the world of cybersecurity.

3. Cyber Security and Growth – Follow this roadmap if you want to learn more about cybersecurity and are unsure where to start. It covers what you need to do and how to do it.

4. edX– Online access to college courses from Harvard, MIT and more of the world’s leading universities

5. Hack Me– Hands-on cyber security training through real-world scenarios. Learn cyber security with fun gamified labs and challenges.

6. Hack the Box– Cyber Security Training – Interaction courses for every skill level, ranging from fundamental to expert

7. Hacker 101– Hacker101 is a free class for web security. Whether you’re a programmer with an interest in bug bounties or a seasoned security professional, Hacker 101 has something to teach you.

8. IBM– IT Fundamentals for Cyber Security – Coursera Course. Launch your career in Cybersecurity; acquire the knowledge you need to work in the sector.

9. Microsoft Technologies Training– Security, Compliance and Identity Fundamentals

10. Offensive Security– Learn fundamentals courses will equip students with confidence to begin training towards a cyber security specialisation.

11. Open University–  Free course from the Open University including:

– Information security
– Introduction to cyber security
– An introduction to computers and computer systems
– IT: device to device communication
– Network security
– Successful IT systems

12. SANS– SANS Cyber Access – Learn the Fundamentals of Cyber Security for free

(Source: 19/04/2024)