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Business & Economy

Newcastle College University Centre a key player in driving digital talent

Newcastle College University Centre takes its seat at the top table of North East tech movers and shakers this month, as the Dynamites 20 awards take centre stage.

Jon Ridley, the University Centre’s Vice-Principal and Executive Director of Higher Education at NCG, is one of 11 judges casting an eye over the North East’s IT and technology success stories.

And Newcastle College’s support for Dynamites 20 reflects its ongoing commitment to building a digital workforce for the future.

“It’s an exciting time to be at the centre of a region that continues to set the standard for IT, technology and digital innovation,” said Jon.

“Newcastle College University Centre is uniquely positioned to impact positively on a sector that continues to pivot in the face of a global pandemic.

“And as someone who is committed to developing talent for the workforce of the future I’m delighted to be sitting on this year’s Dynamites 20 judging panel.

“The standard of entries is incredibly high and it’s clear that, as a region, we are better placed than ever to meet the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Newcastle College University Centre offers an attractive alternative to university for students – mixing a higher level of study within a local college environment.

The College’s reputation as a higher technical skills provider means it can offer professional work-based study opportunities, industry-linked activities and intensive teaching environments.

That focus on practical learning, combined with sector-leading teaching, provides a unique level of support for students.

Earlier this year, Newcastle College University Centre launched its innovative Foundation Degree in Engineering with Applied Digital Technologies. The two-year course is tailor-made to meet the demands of a sector in transition – thanks to the contribution of Procter and Gamble and the expertise of local engineering specialists Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd (SMD) and Metrology Software Products (MSP).

Jon added: “The University Centre worked alongside those businesses and our own Digital Advisory Board to fine-tune a degree that supports the region’s Local Industrial Strategy for Advanced Manufacturing.

“It’s a fantastic example of what we bring to the table and evidences the quality and focus of the courses we’re building to train and upskill a workforce willing to meet the unique demands of the current economic climate.”

Newcastle College University Centre is part of NCG, one of the largest education groups in the country.

Liz Bromley, CEO of NCG, sits on the North East Local Enterprise Partnership board and Jon added: “As an education group our aim is to provide support for the region that makes real local impact and we are proud to play a central role.

“Liz is a strong voice within the LEP board and it is vital that NCG is aligned to the board’s work and future plans.”

Jon and his fellow judges – chaired by Prof. Alastair Irons, Academic Dean, University of Sunderland – are overseeing 11 categories at the Dynamites 20 awards.

Now in its seventh year, Dynamites is the North East’s most highly anticipated IT and Tech awards.  The event showcases the region’s hotbed of talent and shines a spotlight on North East organisations.

Winners will be announced at a virtual event on October 14.

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