January 19, 2021 @ 14:10 by Richard Dawson
A North East creative tech start-up is driving its expansion and investing in the region’s future workforce, thanks to a partnership with Gateshead College.
INFINITY 27, which is based in Gateshead’s PROTO emerging technology centre, is creating placements and future jobs for up to ten young people in the coming year through the new T Levels programme.
The digital tech company designs and develops next-generation immersive content, including augmented and virtual reality.
It has joined forces with Gateshead College, one of the country’s early pioneers of the new T Level qualifications.
T Levels are a new innovative vocational qualification with an emphasis on work placements, designed in partnership with leading businesses.
The digital production, design, and development course will see students spend two days at INFINITY 27.
They’ll gain first-hand experience of what it’s like to work in the immersive industry, a thriving sector in the UK that employs around 6,000 people nationwide and generates approximately one billion pounds in sales each year.
Deni Chambers, assistant principal at Gateshead College, said: “The partnership with INFINITY 27 is a fantastic example of how T Levels will have an impact on the future workforce, especially in the digital sector, which requires a very specific skillset.
“A big hurdle faced in the digital and immersive technology sector is gaps in knowledge about the new technology being implemented.
“This is why on-the-job experience is vital alongside classroom learning to ensure those learning remain current and the skills developed are ahead of the curve.
Dan Baird, director of INFINIITY 27, agrees: “One of the biggest challenges that threatens future innovation in the immersive sector is a lack of relevant skills and experience required to succeed in this very fast paced, ever-changing industry.
“The T Levels course with the extended industry placements are a breath of fresh air to bridging the immersive skills gap.
“The students will be exposed to the very specific technology applications that only an immersive company could invest in, learn the range of cross-discipline skills required, and experience the agile methodology we adopt to meet our clients’ needs.
“We’re really looking forward to working with students and giving them a real taste of what working in the immersive industry is like on a daily basis.”
INFINITY 27 initially took on two students last summer, which proved highly successful. As a result, the start-up is making a bigger investment in placements and will play a key role in preparing the region’s young immersive talent for future job roles in the sector.
Deni Chambers added: “We hope INFINITY 27 sets a precedent for other North East businesses in seeking the opportunities T Level qualifications can provide to their business in equipping their workforces with work ready, relevant skills.”