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23rd January 2017

Collaboration Needed to Ensure Digital & Technical Skills for the Future

Last week I attended a meeting held at the Leeds Manufacturing UTC, an impressive, state of the art building with a racing car in the entrance and a huge game of life-size jacks set up in the foyer.  (For those of you who aren’t sure what a UTC is then you can watch this video). 

I sat round the table with a group of people.  You wouldn't have necessarily put us together.  There were individuals from a range of organisations; public and private; SME's, large multinational brands and Not for Profits.  However, we all had one thing in common…a passion for bringing future Digital skills to the Leeds City Region.

We were there to discuss the progress of our bid to open a 2nd UTC in Leeds.  This time specialising in Creative Digital Skills.  This was my first meeting with the Project Steering Group and I was there in my professional capacity as Head of Communications for Gravitas Recruitment Group, alongside our Leeds Founder/Director Alex Naylor. As a specialist technology recruiter, our vested interest in bringing digital skills to an area which has recently seen a boom in tech employers and is experiencing a serious shortfall in talent, is obvious.  However, I was also there as a parent, not from Leeds, but with first hand frustrations of an education system that at times seems stuck in the past, disengaging and totally unable to keep up with a world that is evolving at breakneck speed.

 During the meeting we discussed a number of topics relating to our bid and bringing it to fruition.  However, we mostly talked about support and how the success of the bid and ultimately the UTC,  totally relied upon the ability of many people and organisations to successfully work together. 

 It struck me how apt this was given the impact of technology on our lives.  Whatever your view on this, there is no doubt that it is breaking down traditional barriers. Where there were once clear lines, they are now becoming blurred.  Departments, Sectors, Social Barriers even Countries.  With technology as an enabler, the world is becoming a more connected place and one that relies on greater collaboration. 

 Without collaboration between education and employers then the future for business and for our children, looks bleak.  It’s crucial that organisations work with educators to engage young people and equip them with the necessary skills.

 The success of UTC's relies on this concept.  That’s why the Leeds Creative Digital UTC is looking for local employers to pledge support.  This support includes giving lectures, mentoring, providing summer internships, providing innovative projects for young people to work on and advising on curriculums.  If you are interested or want to find out more, then please call Alex Naylor, Regional Director, Gravitas Recruitment on +44 113 887 4555 

To learn more about the bid please click here.

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