University Technical College Heathrow launches first data centre focussed curriculum for 14-19-year-olds

16 November 2021

The Digital Futures Programme is an industry first

The Digital Futures Programme is an industry first

The University Technical College in Heathrow (UTC Heathrow) has unveiled an exclusive new Digital Futures Programme - a curriculum aimed at giving students the best possible start to a career within the Digital Infrastructure Industry.

This industry first was developed in collaboration with leading industry organisations and allows students to gain the essential knowledge and skills needed to thrive in technical careers within the data centre sector. This sector is currently experiencing unprecedented growth, which is only set to continue, but is facing an on-going skills shortage. This new programme was designed to help to future-proof the industry by inspiring a new generation to join it and enjoy a rewarding career. 

The programme curriculum has been carefully designed in close collaboration with global industry organisations: CNet Training (CNet), VIRTUS Data Centres, CyrusOne, CBRE, Amazon Web Services (AWS), LMG, ARK Data Centres (Crown Hosting Data Centres Limited) and Yondr, who have all committed funding and resources to the programme to guarantee students receive a first-class technical education.

Its also ensures students have a direct line of sight into a rewarding career, while giving participating organisations a unique opportunity to contribute to educating the next generation of data centre talent. This will make certain that the students gain the much sought-after skills that these businesses need and sets in motion the longer-term steps required to tackle the skills shortage.

The idea for the Digital Futures Programme came from a meeting between Andrew Stevens, President and CEO of CNet, and the Baker Dearing Trust, an organisation which develops UTCs. After shaping the proposition, Andrew worked with trade association TechUK and UTC Heathrow to build a collective of like-minded organisations who wanted to get involved and collaborate on this dynamic educational programme.

“The skills gap is not getting any easier for the digital infrastructure industry. We all need to work together and do it in a way that will make a real difference at a time when young people need inspiration, support, and the opportunity to secure a career with huge opportunities,” said Stevens. “This is a problem that the industry can only tackle head-on by working collectively; we need to showcase the amazing career opportunities within the data centre sector and help young people to prepare for and access them.”

To ensure that the programme remains relevant and adapts continuously, the participating organisations will meet the UTC Heathrow team every half term to review, improve, and add to the programme content as needed.