Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 49 - Page 68

INTELLIGENT BRANDS // Data Centres

UTC Heathrow launches first data centre focused curriculum for 14 – 19-year-olds

The University Technical College in Heathrow ( UTC Heathrow ) has unveiled its much-awaited exclusive new Digital Futures Programme – an exciting curriculum aimed at giving students the best possible start to a career within the Digital Infrastructure Industry .

Developed in collaboration with leading industry organisations , the Digital Futures Programme allows students to gain the essential knowledge and skills needed to thrive in technical careers within the data centre sector . This sector is currently experiencing unprecedented growth , which is only set to continue , but is facing an ongoing skills shortage . This new programme will help to future-proof the industry by inspiring a new generation to join it and enjoy a rewarding career .
The programme curriculum has been carefully designed in close collaboration with global industry organisations : CNet Training ( CNet ), VIRTUS Data Centres , CyrusOne , CBRE , Amazon Web Services ( AWS ), LMG , ARK Data Centres ( Crown Hosting Data Centres Limited ) and Yondr , who have all committed funding and resources to the programme to guarantee students receive a first-class technical education . while giving participating organisations a unique opportunity to contribute to educating the next generation of data centre talent . This will make certain that the students gain the much sought-after skills that these businesses need and sets in motion the longer-term steps required to tackle the skills shortage .
The idea for the Digital Futures Programme came from a meeting between Andrew Stevens , President and CEO of CNet and the Baker Dearing Trust , an organisation which develops UTCs . After shaping the proposition , Andrew worked with trade association TechUK and UTC Heathrow to build a collective of like-minded organisations that wanted to get involved and collaborate on this dynamic educational programme .
“ The skills gap is not getting any easier for the digital infrastructure industry . We all need to work together and do it in a way that will make a real difference at a time when young people need inspiration , support and the opportunity to secure a career with huge opportunities ,” said Stevens .
The annual Digital Futures Programme intake is limited to 100 students at age 14 and 150 students studying the Level 3 engineering curriculum . Younger students will compete in industry-led Challenge Days , develop employability skills and receive masterclasses to bring subjects to life , alongside studying for their GCSEs .
Meanwhile , older students will complete team projects within the curriculum and benefit from building impactful relationships with industry professionals . Students will leave UTC Heathrow with a BTEC Level 3 National Diploma / Extended Diplomas in Engineering and Aeronautical Engineering ( NQF ). p
The programme also ensures students have a direct line of sight into a rewarding career ,
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