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Business & Economy

Newcastle United Foundation open doors to immersive tech careers hub

Newcastle United Foundation are setting up an immersive tech hub to help young people explore careers education in a way they’ve never experienced before.

The hub will become part of the NU Futures programme, which provides young people with employer experiences to open their minds to new opportunities. This will include provision of interactive careers advice using virtual reality and augmented reality, supplemented with one-to-one careers mentoring.

The programme will operate from Newcastle United Foundation’s brand-new facility, NUCASTLE, powered by Newcastle Building Society. The building, which opens its doors in March, 2022, will feature four innovative classrooms, and the immersive tech careers hub.

Newcastle United Foundation, Programme Manager, Andrew Foster, said:

‘We are excited to be developing a range of immersive careers experiences to support thousands of young people through our NU Futures programme. These opportunities will place young people in a workplace environment from the safety and comfort of our STEM learning space at NUCASTLE.

NU Futures will provide over 10,000 11-25 year olds in the North of Tyne region access to careers and employability support each year. Our immersive technology will offer young people thousands of hours of valuable employer engagement and virtual site visits giving them valuable insights into careers from some of the biggest employers in the region.”

The Foundation are now looking for tech suppliers to develop immersive educational content for the hub. The budget for initial pilot content is £80,000.

The open call is delivered in collaboration with Digital Pathfinders: a programme which helps businesses, organisations and charities across the North of Tyne implement digital technologies. The programme is delivered by Digital Catapult NETV, Generator, VONNE and Steam Digital and is funded by the Digital Catapult and North of Tyne Combined Authority.

Head of Digital Adoption at Digital Catapult NETV, Adam Hill, said: “As the NUCASTLE facility is opening its doors to young people from the region, we are now looking for tech suppliers to develop immersive content for a series of educational pilot experiences.

The tender is the result of several explorative sessions we conducted with Newcastle United Foundation and Digital Pathfinders to identify how digital technology can help young people in the region engage with careers and education.

We believe this content will have a real impact on the way young people learn about the breadth of opportunities available to them right on their doorsteps.”

The tender application closes on 1st November. Interested parties can apply via the Sunderland Software City website.