• 10 December 2020

New Digital Skills Academy at Leigh College completes

Waterman is delighted that the new Digital Skills Academy at Leigh College in Wigan has reached practical completion. The new facility designed by Seven Architecture, has been built in response to research findings that suggest there are skills shortages in the multidiscipline IT industry including cyber security, software development and programming.

Recently opening for students, the state-of-the-art facility provides an exciting opportunity for undergraduates to develop their skills and knowledge in the field to help them gain future employment. According to North West labour market analysis there is over a 4% rise in employment opportunities for IT professionals including those working in programming, software development and data analytics.

To maximise the student learning experience, three learning laboratories have been built, each focussing on a specific digital specialism. ‘The Internet of Things’ laboratory provides students with the opportunity to develop electronic devices and machines to solve problems. Students eager to learn about up-to-date software and techniques in web and games development have the use of the ‘Cyber Security and Digital Technologies’ laboratory. The ‘Robotics and Artificial Intelligence’ laboratory is where students will build and programme robots to complete a range of activities.

The Academy has been partly funded by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GM LEP) through the Local Growth Fund.

Waterman was appointed by Wigan & Leigh College to provide mechanical and electrical design services to refurbish and convert the existing college classrooms into the new digital academy. Our designs have improved the operational efficiency of the systems as well as the internal environment of the refurbished areas.

Nick Long, Head of Business & Computing at Leigh College, said in a recent statement: “The new state-of-the art facilities will provide a unique learning experience which will help to prepare our students for both higher level study and progression to employment. Our specially designed courses are aimed to provide our students with technical skills preparation for an ever-expanding digital industry where the opportunities for employment are much greater.”

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