Future Technologies Centre: Skills for the next generation

Ruth Peterson | December 18, 2020

Bradford College has partnered with employers to lead a new education and training initiative, helping create the highly-skilled technology workforce of tomorrow.

Creating skills programmes for tomorrow’s tech workforce

The Future Technologies Centre is a new and developing education, research and skills training framework. It has been designed by Bradford College to support the growth of technology and low carbon skills capacity and capability within West Yorkshire.

The Future Technologies Centre will:

  • Inspire careers through work with schools in the district
  • Deliver a modern skills curriculum fit for industry now and in the future.
  • Re-skill individuals to engage with new employer-led technologies
  • Increase the availability of a skilled workforce, encouraging businesses to locate closer to the skills source and further drive technological growth.
  • Deliver a skilled regional workforce to encourage adaptations to existing technology as well as advancement of new technologies, enhancing existing businesses as well as attracting new ones.
  • Support businesses to locate in a low carbon, environmental and socially responsible region and add value to their products and services.

Unique skills for unique times

The initiative will ensure the college and its partners design curriculum and skills training programmes to meet the unique skills that key industry sectors will require, both present and future.

At the same time, it is designed to meet the climate change and low carbon plans set for the region. 

Creating opportunities in technology

Asa Gordon, Assistant Principal at Bradford College, said: “Bradford College’s ability to align its skills and training with the needs of employers and stakeholders is crucial to meeting future technology opportunities available in West Yorkshire.

“Working with regional employers and stakeholders will allow us to create the careers that will be key to the region’s success.”

In the project’s first stage, the college linked with industry, education and community partners to create an ‘overview’ steering group. Three ‘Hubs’, representing key industry skills needs, have been created:

Sustainable Transport Hub

A hybrid vehicle at Bradford College’s Bowling Back Lane campus

The Chair of the ST Hub is Chris Cotterill of the Institute of Motor Industries. Chris said: “The evolution of technology, combined with ever-more pressing environmental challenges, means that the skills and knowledge requirements of many job functions are changing radically. This is certainly true of the automotive industry. As chair of the Sustainable Transport Hub, I am invested to collaborate with the steering group members to produce a Hub with the facilities, resources and curricula that delivers professional people in Bradford and surrounding areas for our rapidly evolving sector.”   

Sustainable Construction Hub

The Chair of the Sustainable Construction Hub, Andrew Dorree of BAM Nuttall, said: “For an area that covers Yorkshire/Leeds City Region, a wider community that has always been rich in history through its construction routes, our priorities must include the way we attract new talent. Using values as the lure, and ensuring we talk to people on the right level, will help us address issues such as diversity and inclusion.

“The future for sustainable practices is now. The future, in terms of the environment, is at a critical point with regards to what type of world we want to leave behind for future generations and our youth in particular, have mobilised. They are on the front lines of change and we should strive to work with them to facilitate that change through openness and a willingness to provide the opportunity to people to re-skill and up-skill to help us fulfil our vision for the area.”

Allied & Medical Health Technology Hub

The Allied and Medical Health Technology Hub encompasses medical technology and health skills development. It provides an innovative mix of applied research, technical skills training, innovative learning, employer-designed projects, and work placement opportunities.

The Chair of the Hub is Gemma Kurring, Senior Director, Knee Development at DePuy Synthes Joint Reconstruction. She said: “One of the key goals in healthcare is to provide the best care possible to patients, whether that’s through care given or the products that they receive.  Part of this means continuously driving improvements that will benefit patients and improve their outcomes, whilst at the same time creating and implementing cost effective, safe solutions that enable healthcare systems to do more with less. 

“As Chair of the Allied Health & MedTech Hub, I hope that, by working together with partners across education and industry, we as a Hub will generate a strategic framework for critical skill set creation and training to enable Bradford and the Leeds City Region to service the future needs of the industry and inspire the next generation to become a part of it.”

Each of these hubs has its own steering group made up of industry, academic and local authority partners. The purpose of each hub is to encourage the growth of future technology skills and new industry sectors in the region. The hubs will also ensure that their work is in line with regional socio-economic strategies and policy commitments such as climate change and sustainable development targets.

More hubs are planned for the future.

Come and speak to us

Get in touch with us

If you are an employer who would like to find out more about the Future Technologies Centre and work with us, please contact Asa at a.gordon@bradfordcollege.ac.uk

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