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Over 5,000 students targeted for digital badges

Published:Sunday | April 14, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Digital badging is a new frontier establishing training credentials and Jamaica is now poised to become one of the first digital societies in the Caribbean through this technology.

To this end the Ministry of Education Youth and Information (MoEYI) is subsidizing some 5,500 students of the Career Advancement Programme (CAP) to sit the City and Guilds’ Customer Service #8992 qualification at Levels 1 & 2 who, if successful, will receive digital badges. Already, 2,300 students in the CAP and Centre for Occupational Studies programmes and who did the C&G Customer Service exams have been awarded digital badges.

This will provide greater opportunities to be recruited in the growing Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry, as they will be able to share their digital badges on various social media platforms.


What is a digital badge?

Digital badges are powerful new tools for identifying and validating the rich array of people's skills, knowledge, accomplishments, and competencies. The set of data provided for by digital badges would include information on a programme of study that outlines the levels of competence and skills attained in key areas of a programme.

A digital badge may show an earner’s ability to carry out a professional function in relation to the competencies required. Digital badges offer clear visibility of one’s skills, which overrides the abstract, indirect standards of a traditional certificate.

These digital badges are verifiable by the issuing organisations such as companies or institutions of learning. They are secured with enterprise-class data security, which allows earners to share their badges safely on various social media platforms and thereby increase their chances of international recruitment and recognition. This is especially important for persons who have qualifications that may grant them international employment and recognition.

City and Guilds being the only company in the world with this new technology through their acquisition of the company Digitalme has made this technology accessible to corporate entities and various institutions of learning around the world. They have collaborated with companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Adobe and SIEMENS offering this game changing technology, which changes the face of certification, and credentialing.


Digital badges are safe

With the everyday threat of cybercrimes and fraudulent activity via the internet, the safety of digital badges has been tested and fortified by City and Guilds. Working with Digitalme in conjunction with Credly, a company that supports the end-to-end solution for creating, issuing and managing digital credentials, C&G has ensured that there is built-in technology that prevents badges from being duplicated or tampered with.

Once a badge is issued to an earner, he may now share it on various social media platforms. The end receiver on these platforms will be able to click the badge and have access to the earner’s achievements as per the built in metadata.

The receiver is then able to verify the validity of the badge as the issuer will be identified as the company or institution of learning rather than the earner. Employers are therefore able to verify through direct engagement with the issuing institution or company because the badges will be designed to be traced to the issuing or awarding body.

Anyone can be digitally badged and badges cannot be copied as they are uniquely designed for each earner by the issuing company or institution backed by Digitalme and Credly.