London ,

IBM wins Lord Mayor's Dragon Award

An education initiative led by technology firm IBM has won a prestigious Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards, in the Education and Lifelong Learning category, for its volunteering project that supports primary schools across London.

The IBM Summer School for Computing Leaders is an initiative run with the London Learning Connected Centre, which aims to help teachers navigate the new computing curriculum and arm young people with the skills they need to become tomorrow’s technology pioneers.

Winners of the Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards were announced at a Mansion House ceremony. The Awards, now in its 28th year is among the most established and distinguished Corporate Responsibility Awards in the UK.

IBM provides teachers and schools with access to state-of-the-art technology including Chef Watson, a form of Artificial Intelligence, in order to demonstrate coding and enhance computational thinking among the young generation. These are skills that are going to be increasingly vital to the economy according to recent research by Deloitte which claimed one third of existing jobs are at risk of technology automation.

The winning programme saw 55 IBM volunteers help 5,400 pupils from 19 Lambeth schools improve their computing skills. In addition 23 primary school teacher received intensive training which saw them share their knowledge with a further 266 teachers across the borough.

Speaking about the programme, Mark Wakefield from IBM, said “The IBM Summer School is all about equipping teachers and in turn young people with the skills needed to build the talent pipeline for the 21st century.”

Joe Halloran from London Connected Learning Centre added, “IBM brings the people that invented the technology that we use every day to speak to teachers and pupils, which is incredibly powerful. Giving young people direct access to new technology deepens their understanding of how it works and ensures that they can lead technological change in the future.”

This year, the applicants for the Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards volunteered around 92,000 hours, helped 300,000 people in London and created 5,000 internship and training placements as a result of their community engagement.

The Lord Mayor Alan Yarrow, who presented the awards, added: “I could not be more proud to champion the participants and winners of the 2015 Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards. Their innovative contribution to our communities shows the immense value of CSR. In fact, we could not do without it. Today’s Dragon Award winners such as IBM, are continuing this work with a broad range of initiatives – enabling business employees to use their skills to maximise the impact of the voluntary sector, and help 300,000 Londoners directly. Whether serving as mentors for school children, or accountants for charities – they are a fantastic example of corporate community engagement, and helping to build a fairer and more prosperous society.”

The other winners

  • Barclays– Winner of the Lord Mayor’s Award for Longstanding Achievement
  • Alium Partners– Winner of the Heart of the City Award for Best New Community Programme
  • London Wildfire Trust for their work with Mace Foundation – Winner of the Community Partners Award
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP- Winner of the Enterprise and Employment Award
  • Aimia- Winner of the Future Proofing Charities Award

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