We organised and ran the first digital conference held in Maidstone to highlight the career opportunities in the sector to students and teachers.

Around 200 students and teachers from across Kent have attended a one-day digital conference in Maidstone hosted by Reflect Digital.

Aspiration Digital was held at Maidstone Girls Grammar School (MGGS) on Friday 2nd November in a bid to inspire and educate students and teachers about the career opportunities in the digital industry.

Earlier this year, an investigation found there to be a lack of information explaining the diverse opportunities of a career in the digital sector, particularly marketing. 51% of 8,405 young people in the UK aged 18-24 said that digital marketing was ‘never’ or ‘hardly ever’ mentioned at their school, with just 1% reporting that it was talked about ‘a lot’ during their school days. In light of this, Reflect Digital wanted to tackle the so-called ‘recruitment crisis’ by informing students about what jobs there are in the digital world including; marketing, design, development, search engine optimisation (SEO) and account management.

A number of guest speakers from Reflect Digital and several other Kent-based agencies, including Pillory Barn and Firemind spoke to students and teachers on the day. 

Picture: Becky Simms, CEO at Reflect Digital is joined by Helen Grant, MP for Maidstone and The Weald, Deborah Stanley, Headteacher Maidstone Girls Grammar School, Neil Walker, Assistant Head of Business, ICT, Computing and Economics at Maidstone Girls Grammar School and students

Becky Simms, CEO at Reflect Digital, said: “Having worked with a number of schools and universities over the last 7 years while running Reflect Digital I’ve noticed a real lack of digital career knowledge when talking to students. Although students are using the internet, social media and technology every day, they are not aware of the huge plethora of career opportunities. The aim of this event was to educate sixth form students about the varying career paths, the types of roles, the ways to get into the industry and more than anything to inspire them with some of our industry’s best speakers”.

Becky adds: “The energy from the students, teachers and speakers at Aspiration Digital was phenomenal. The day was filled with so much digital industry insight from some of the leaders in our field, we have already had feedback from students stating it was the best careers event they have ever attended. The true testament to the success is that we have already seen students taking action, over the weekend a number of students have created LinkedIn profiles and connected with me.”

Neil Walker, Head of Business, ICT, Computing and Economics at Maidstone Girls Grammar School said: “I felt the Digital Conference went exceptionally well and was a really unique day that all students that attended would have been inspired by. The range of speakers was diverse and the topics were very well chosen to appeal to our students. It was really great to see schools and local businesses working together to ensure that young people are making sensible and aspirational choices. We will now spend the next couple of weeks in school following up on the ideas and concepts discussed on the day and ensure that the students are acting on the great advice they have been given. We would definitely be interested in holding this event again next year!”

Picture: Gregg Lawrence from Yoyo Design Ltd talking to students.

Helen Grant Member of Parliament for Maidstone and the Weald was also in attendance for the event and said: “The digital sector is, without doubt, our future. It is so true that the careers which so many of these young people will pursue may not even exist yet and it is, therefore, crucial that they are equipped with digital skills they need to adapt and succeed. This Aspiration Digital Event was diverse and utterly captivating and it is great to see local businesses and schools coming together to inspire our young people to pursue a digital career.'

We can't wait to do it all again next year!


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