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December 8, 2014

Digital Skills college opened by David Cameron PM

Central London campus backed by IBM to train next generation workers

By CBR Staff Writer

The UK Prime Minister, David Cameron today announced the launch of the National College for Digital Skills, an industry-led institution that will address a growing demand for higher level digital skills in the UK. The college will begin to deliver training in 2015 and will open to full time students in 2016 offering students a range of qualifications and apprenticeships.

In recognition of an urgent need to re-address the way in which young people are prepared to enter and succeed in a rapidly evolving digital economy, the National College for Digital Skills has received both public and private sector support.

After an initial donation from Gamesys, the inaugural industry supporter, partnerships were built with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deloitte, IBM, King and the Raspberry Pi Foundation. They have all committed to support the design and set-up of the College to ensure students are ‘work-ready’ with the appropriate combination of practical and soft skills, and academic knowledge required to succeed in highly skilled digital jobs.

"There is a growing demand for higher level digital skills, particularly programming, combined with the broader skillsets that students need to thrive in the modern workplace. The National College for Digital Skills will play a pivotal role in supplying this need by providing courses that are tailored to the diverse needs of the digital economy," said Sir Rod Aldridge, Founding Chair of the National College for Digital Skills.

The college will initially open with a campus in central London, where more than half of the nation’s digital sector is currently located. It will rapidly achieve national scale through additional campuses and collaboration with its industry and academic partners, where there is most demand outside of London. The college has a growth plan in place to reach 5,000 learners within five years of opening.

Tudor Aw, head of technology sector at KPMG, welcomed plans to recruit 17,500 mathematics and physics teachers over the next five years and open the UK’s first national college for digital skills next year.

"The lack of sufficient resources in such key skills is a potential drag on the UK’s ability to establish itself as one of the top Tech locations in the world and it is therefore vital that we address this issue.

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"Today’s plans to recruit 17,500 mathematics and physics teachers over the next five years and to open the UK’s first national college for digital skills is a step in the right direction. This will hopefully ensure that the nation that produced Isaac Newton, Alan Turing and Stephen Hawking, will continue to produce talent that will enable us to be a centre for technology innovation."

The National College for Digital Skills is part of the Aldridge Foundation family of education institutions and is supported by: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deloitte, Gamesys (inaugural industry supporter), Henderson Global Investors, IBM, King, Oracle Academy, and the Raspberry Pi Foundation and the Tech Partnership.

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