From education to employment

Wates begins work on pioneering digital campus

ADA College

Wates has started refurbishment works at Ada’s new London Victoria campus, which will transform a former secondary school into a National College for Digital Skills. 

Established in Tottenham in 2016 to address the talent shortage and lack of diversity in the digital industries by creating a diverse pipeline of talent, Ada is a pioneering college and charity for young people aged 16-24, with 97% of its alumni working in tech or studying advanced degrees.  

The project, carried out for the Department of Education (DfE), involves upgrading the building – fittingly named after Ada Lovelace, often considered the first computer programmer –  with the latest digital technology education facilities. The project will finish, ready for teaching to start  at the new campus for the  Autumn 2023 term. 

The vibrant and inclusive college campus has been designed with digital innovation in mind. Workshops will be converted into IT suites for the college’s core computing qualifications and lecture theatres will replace traditional classrooms. Plans also include a cafe, sports hall, gym and roof terrace with views over London. 

With a mission to educate and empower the next generation of diverse digital talent, Ada is working to remove the glass ceiling for women and encourage individuals from low-income and ethnic minority backgrounds into the tech industry. Students benefit from a diverse curriculum, opening doors into a variety of careers in fields such as cybersecurity, animation and data analytics. 

Ada has reached its capacity due to the number of students wanting to enrol and take their first step towards an exciting career in the tech sector. The new Victoria location not only offers more in terms of facilities, it also provides a wider geographical reach for future learners and employer partners. The new building will also allow Ada to double their learner numbers in the coming years. 

As part of the project, Wates will fulfil its commitment to promoting the diverse career within its sector, working in partnership with Ada, the National College for Digital Skills to carry out a programme of activities to engage and inspire young people. 

Sandra Weerasinghe, Senior Design Manager at Wates’ Smartspace division, commented:

“It’s a privilege to be involved in shaping the future of the next generation, providing industry-leading facilities for students to grow and learn. I’ve always been an advocate for encouraging greater diversity in tech and construction, so I’m excited to see what the future holds for students at Ada College as they have the opportunity to thrive in their education and future careers.” 

Sophie Clifton, Director of Operations at Ada, the National College for Digital Skills said:

“I’m thrilled that refurbishment works are underway and that in a few months’ time we’ll be moving into our new state-of-the-art campus in London Victoria. Wates and LSI have helped us to design an amazing home where we can bring our Sixth Form College and Degree Apprenticeship Programmes together to collaborate with our wide range of industry partners. This larger central London hub will enable us to support many more young people into great careers in tech.” 

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