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Developing Digital Across The Community

Robotic Arm to be used as part of Cheshire College – South & West’s The Digital Hub – Project 4.0

The importance of digital skills and access to technology has never been more apparent than it is today and Cheshire’s largest provider of post-16 education, Cheshire College – South & West is on a mission to support the community with their new five-year project, ‘The Digital Hub’.

Designed specifically to boost digital skills, enhance career pathways and develop confidence, The Digital Hub project is set to benefit further-education learners, schoolchildren, businesses and the wider community with increased access to technology.

Running until 2025, The Digital Hub comprises of three main strands, ‘Digital Doorstep’, ‘Project 4.0’ and STREAM’, and is being delivered in collaboration with Warrington and Vale Royal College, UTC Warrington and several local businesses including Code Nation and Virtalis.

Karen Roberts, Project Lead and Assistant Principal – Apprenticeship and Employer Engagement, commented: “I am delighted that the Cheshire College – South & West is able to facilitate access to new technology, in order to empower businesses and participants alike to gain confidence in digital applications.

“Innovation is at the heart of our ambitions and working closely with various stakeholders, we are driven and committed to upskilling and reskilling existing workforces.”

Clare Hayward MBE, Chair of Cheshire and Warrington LEP said: “The new Digital Hub has the potential to be truly transformative, the focus is on elevating the skills and work prospects of thousands of young people in Cheshire and Warrington.

“The Hub, and the new Immersive Design Lab which has just opened at Cheshire College, are part of a £5m investment in digital skills across the region, this investment will engage with more than 50,000 students and 3,000 businesses to ensure that employers can access the work-ready talent they need to drive innovation in their businesses.”

The first strand of the project, Digital Doorstep, aims to deliver skills and career pathways in additive manufacturing and Virtual and Augmented Reality through the use of portable, entry level equipment in local schools, colleges and businesses.

3D Printer

Stage one of Digital Doorstop has seen Cheshire College learners designing and prototyping life-size 3D printed robots which, once finalised, will be taken to local schools for children to develop their digital skills in coding and virtual reality.

Over the five-year project, it is expected that over 50,000 learners will benefit from access to the equipment, inspiring more young people than ever to progress onto higher-level courses and skilled employment.

The second strand of The Digital Hub, Project 4.0, focuses on digital skills in the workplace with an emphasis on improving Advanced Manufacturing Skills to expand digital infrastructures, upskill and reskill existing workforces and promote digital as a career choice.

The newest project strand, ‘Stream’, facilitates access to technology within community organisations to raise awareness and develop confidence in digital applications. Equipment includes laptops, smart mobile phones and live streaming systems and there has been lots of activity to date with Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester and the Department for Work and Pensions.

To find out more about The Digital Hub, email employers@ccsw.ac.uk or call 01270 654638 (Crewe Campus) / 01244 656455 (Ellesmere Port and Chester Campuses).

If you would like to know more about studying at Cheshire College – South & West visit ccsw.ac.uk.