The importance of digital skills and access to technology has never been more apparent than it is today, and over the last few months, Computer Science A Level and Information Technology CTEC students at Xaverian College have had the opportunity to connect with and learn from some of the world’s most high-profile tech companies, including BAE Systems, NatWest and Siemens.
Greater Manchester has a reputation for being one of the fastest-growing digital and tech hubs in Europe and there is growing confidence, passion and drive for innovation across the sector. Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, who is committed to boosting the development of digital skills with local employers, and encouraging young people to consider digital careers, is leading many initiatives to raise the profile of digital initiatives and bridge the skills gaps that exist in industry.
At the start of this academic year, teachers at the college arranged a series of visits to a range of employers, specifically designed to boost students’ digital skills and enhance their career pathways.
Over 50 students have benefitted from applying the skills and knowledge they have learnt in the classroom to a workplace setting and quizzing a variety of experts on their experiences. So far, workshops have taken place onsite and virtually with ANS Group Limited, Arctic Shores, BAE Systems, ITV, NatWest, PwC UK, Siemens, TalkTalk, and many more.
Aftab Rana, former pupil at Burnage Academy for Boys, has been on several of the visits with his classmates. He commented: “Being able to visit the different businesses, talk to professionals and explore the workplace has been invaluable. I have learnt so many new things, which are helping me further my studies. I’m really grateful that our teachers provide opportunities like this and continue to push us to expand our subject knowledge.”
With plans to secure a Higher Apprenticeship after College, Aftab is currently studying A Level Accounting and Business and a Information Technology CTEC Single and is involved in lots of enrichment activities to help him develop the essential skills needed in industry.
Shiuli Begum, Pastoral Manager and Teacher of IT at Xaverian, said: “All modern workplaces thrive on digital skills, such as software programming, digital marketing and design, web analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine and manufacturing technology, along with computer and networking support systems, to name but a few.
“Here at Xaverian, we’re incredibly lucky to have fantastic links with employers who support us in providing opportunities that are fun, interesting and educational, to help ensure our students have a really fulfilling College experience.
“It is a really exciting time for any student looking to enter the industry and I am extremely proud that we are able to help prepare the next generation.”
Both Computer Science A Level and Information Technology CTEC courses are designed to provide real-world skills, from problem solving to critical thinking. As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the region, there has never been a better time to #DiscoverYourFuture at Xaverian College. Visit xaverian.ac.uk to find out more.