New IT academy will address shortage in digital skills
A new IT academy at The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) will address a shortage in digital skills by equipping students and apprentices with hi-tech expertise to succeed in the industry.
The risual Academy, a partnership between the College and market leading IT services and consultancy firm risual, comprises a new cutting edge Microsoft Showcase Classroom, an Apprenticeship scheme and workshops by industry experts throughout the year.
Britain’s IT workforce is expected to grow by 39% by 2030 while 82% of cybersecurity companies globally feel there is a large shortage of employees in this area.
The Academy was officially launched at a short ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Showcase Classroom conducted by Principal Andy Forbes on 9 November.
Mr Forbes said: “We all know the UK is facing a shortage of digital skills, and here at CONEL we're working directly in partnership with industry and employers to fill the gap.
“This marvellous new Academy, and the apprenticeship opportunities associated with it, will help to put Tottenham on the map as the place to go for top quality digital learning."
The event was attended by risual Director Alun Rogers; Richard Zaltzman, Public Sector Director - Small and Mid-Market Solutions and Partners at Microsoft, and Councillor Elin Weston, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Haringey Council.
Also at the launch were representatives from other colleges and schools, London businesses, apprenticeship partners and College staff and students.
CONEL currently has 19 staff qualified as Microsoft Certified Educators (MCEs) and is in the process of upskilling the rest to increase digital skills across its provision.
Tina Jones, Director of Education at risual, said: “What is exciting is that CONEL has invested time in its teaching staff to use this technology more effectively and into teaching and learning across the College to ensure students from all sectors benefit from this, not just IT learners.”
The event also offered the chance for the employers to take part in a business workshop to discuss the recruitment of apprentices and also guide them through the forthcoming Apprenticeship Levy.
A group of the first risual apprentices, who began their employment ahead of the Academy’s official launch, also took part in a workshop on Sway, a Microsoft application which enables you to create interactive reports, presentations, stories and other content.
Here’s what our Apprentices say
“I’m enjoying my apprenticeship and really excited about the new kit in the Microsoft Classroom. In my job I’m always looking to progress and try to learn something new every day. The Academy will really help with that, and achieving my potential.”
Cari Philadelphia, 25, IT Level 3 Apprentice employed at Enfield Council
“The new technology available for the Academy is brilliant and it will be interesting to see how we can best utilise it. The training at CONEL is good and I’ve learnt a lot during my apprenticeship at King’s College. The Academy will really benefit anyone who wants a future in IT.”
George Cornell, 17, IT Level 3 Apprentice employed at King’s College London
Here’s what employers and careers advisors say
“Over the past 14 months we’ve taken on 20 apprentices across the council. We’re looking at how we can increase opportunities for apprenticeships and enhancing digital skills within the workforce and how we can support residents and businesses in the community, which is something this Academy can assist with greatly.”
Ambrose Quashie, Employment and Skills Policy Officer, Haringey Council
“The new Academy is very exciting. It is great for young people in Tottenham to have this opportunity on their doorstep, and help them to gain the skills they need in such a growth industry. We’ve seen an increase in the number of them showing an interest in an apprenticeship pathway, and we’ll be making sure they know that this Academy is available to them.”
Jenny Kirk, Careers Consultant at Northumberland Park Community School
- Last Updated: 01 September 2017