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Facebook and Blackberry make links with Bow school at technology launch

PUBLISHED: 12:09 19 September 2011 | UPDATED: 15:41 23 September 2011

Students at an initiative to inspire young people to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths held at Central Foundation Girl's School in London, 15 September 2011.

Students at an initiative to inspire young people to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths held at Central Foundation Girl's School in London, 15 September 2011.

Crown Copyright

Leading firms including Facebook and Blackberry chose an east London girls’ school to launch a venture aimed at steering more young people into technology careers.

Universities minister David Willetts was also at the launch at Central Foundation Girls’ School in Bow last week and vowed that the government would “promote opportunity and foster growth” in the sector.

Central Foundation is spearheading a drive to get more schools in the area linked with tech giants and improve results in science and maths.

More than 50 students mingled with technology leaders at the event on Thursday.

It is “crucial” for young people to have the skills to bid for decent tech jobs, Mr Willetts said at the Harley Grove school.

He added: “Technology and digital companies will play a central role in securing our economic future.”

As part of the announcements, Facebook vowed to put its weight behind a project in which students design apps with a social purpose.

Apps for Good was first launched for teenagers in Central Foundation and successful designs included an app which translates Bengali to English.

The course will now be run all over the world.

Iris Lapinski, CEO of Apps for Good, said: “We welcome the growing number of companies who are moving beyond complaining about ICT skills and doing something about it.”

We were proud to host such an event to showcase the many different technology options available to our students, and extremely impressed with the brilliant apps our students have produced.

Janet Chapman, deputy head, said: “We were proud to host such an event to showcase the many different technology options available to our students, and extremely impressed with the brilliant apps our students have produced.”

Other ventures announced included a series of workshops run by phone giant Blackberry in which 11 to 14-year-olds are taught the basics of mobile technology.

The event was about “supporting the growth of Tech City at a grass roots level”, CEO of Tech City Investment Organisation, Eric van der Kleij, said.

The launch linked in with Prime Minister David Cameron’s unveiling of the East End last year as the UK’s Tech City and a hub for communications industries.

Tech City stretches from Shoreditch to the Olympic Park and is the fastest growing technology cluster in Europe, according to TCIO.

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