From education to employment

Digital skills training session part of plan to invest in regional workforce

Educational organisations across South Yorkshire are exploring the latest learning technology to enhance students’ digital skills development.

Regional colleges, training providers and universities secured £4.2 million from the government’s Local Skills Improvement Fund (LSIF) last year to develop digital skills.

The demand for digital skills in South Yorkshire is on the rise as technology becomes central to many organisations across different sectors.

The South Yorkshire Local Skills Improvement Plan 2023 to 2026 has highlighted that there are growing digital skills gaps regionally.

Almost a quarter of adults lack essential digital skills for work and shortages of advanced digital skills have increased sharply over the past three years.

Backed by the region’s three chambers of commerce, Barnsley & Rotherham as well as Doncaster and Sheffield, the skills plan and funding aim to turn this around.

As part of this longer term project, education providers recently held a training session exploring immersive technology for teaching and learning.

Immersive technology enables students to experience real world training environments in a range of industries via virtual and augmented reality.

Around 40 staff from regional colleges and universities attended a digital innovation training day at The Sheffield College on 28th March 2024.

Experts from the Digital Learning Institute, FE Tech, FocusXR, GoReact and Metaverse Learning led the training.

Laura Faulkner, Head of Digital Innovation and Skills, The Sheffield College, said:

“This positive training session helped to fuel our ambitions for accelerating digital skills and supported colleagues to prepare for using immersive technologies.

“We gained a greater knowledge of the principles behind immersive technologies as well as the tools to build effective curriculum content and provide new teaching and learning opportunities for students across the region.”

The organisations that attended the training session included Barnsley College, Communication Specialist College Doncaster, DN Colleges Group, Northern College, RNN Group, Sheffield Hallam University, The Sheffield College, the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre and the South Yorkshire Providers Network.

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