UTC Heathrow on Monday announced a partnership with a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions, Vertiv (NYSE: VRT).
The partnership with Vertiv will see its people working alongside the UTC to deliver a co-teach programme of learning based on the data centre sector.
UTCs are schools for 14–19-year-olds that deliver technical education as well as core curriculum subjects, in partnership with local employers and universities.
Developed in collaboration with leading data centre industry organisations, the Digital Futures Programme is a first for any UK school.
The programme, which contributes to a BTEC Level 3 National Diploma/Extended Diplomas in Engineering (NQF), 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 booming growth but is facing an ongoing skills shortage.
The Digital Futures Programme, now in its second year, is helping to future-proof the industry by inspiring a new generation to join it and enjoy a rewarding career.
The first set of students took up apprenticeship roles within the sector this year.
In addition, UTC Heathrow and Partners are delighted that, for the second year running, they have won the Education and Employment Project Award at the prestigious Datacloud Global Awards in Monaco.
This comes on the back of the Best Talent Developer award given to the programme at Data Centre World in March.
Vertiv Vice President of Services EMEA, Michael O’Keeffe, commented: “Without a doubt, the skills gap is still as wide as ever.
“For us at Vertiv, and others in the industry, technical knowledge is a competitive advantage.
“Technically skilled professionals with a good understanding of data centre technology are critical, but also hard to find.
“Young people, especially women and those with diverse backgrounds, are under-represented in this field.
“By joining UTC Heathrow on this important programme, we are working to develop the skills needed to join the industry.”
Candace Rose Kumi, Employer Engagement Lead at UTC Heathrow, said: “We have been delighted with how the Digital Futures Programme is evolving.
“Having a global critical digital infrastructure provider join the team of leading industry organisations adds a new dimension.
“With its global presence and track record of innovative products and services, Vertiv brings a great deal of strength and depth to what we can offer students.
“We are very excited at the prospect of how Vertiv’s involvement will develop the programme even further.”
Several Vertiv engineers with training backgrounds and extensive industry experience will be teaching students useful skills in electrical and mechanical engineering, IT, networking, and problem resolution.
UTC Heathrow is a specialist science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) school.
Its Digital Futures Programme has already received international recognition, having won the “Education and Employment Project Award 2022” at a prestigious data centre event in Monaco last year.
To find out more about the Digital Futures Programme please visit www.heathrow-utc.org/employers/digital-futures-programme