Some of the region’s top technical talent spoke to secondary students at a digital roadshow hosted by Microsoft partners Trafford College on Wednesday 16th October – which included advice for girls breaking into the industry.
With tens of thousands of digital jobs lying vacant in Greater Manchester, Trafford College fills the gap with courses in IT, networking, software development, website production, app and game design, video production, animation, graphic design and 3D computer modelling.
Young teenagers from Altrincham Grammar School for Girls and Broadoak, Sale, Lostock and St Ambrose high schools were able to get to grips with software and hardware – available across Altrincham and Stretford campuses – that put the College’s Digital Skills Academy firmly on the map, including the latest in virtual reality equipment.
They were also able to hear from technical learning gurus NCC Education, digital agency Cunning Plan, cyber security specialists Foregenix, technical solutions company inTEC and Greater Manchester Police’s cyber security arm. These forward-thinking businesses got involved as Digital Futures Ambassadors, a future talent programme, powered by Manchester Digital and funded by Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
Head of Studies for Creative Arts and Digital, Jane Andrew, said: “With eight out of every 10 jobs now requiring digital skills, it is becoming more and more important for everyone in our community – young and old – to understand the importance of gaining skills in this area.”
To help bridge the skills gap, Trafford College are currently piloting free coding courses for adults, run by We Are Code Nation.
Award-winning alumni, Yasmin Lee, 18, from Altrincham chose to study Art Foundation at Manchester Metropolitan University after gaining the highest grade of triple starred distinctions at Trafford College in BTEC Digital Creative Media this year.
“I had never dreamed of being able to manage to do coding or 3D modelling when I started the course, but I really enjoyed the challenge and got an amazing sense of achievement from mastering the range of skills I learned.
“There are very high salaries that come with digital jobs, girls shouldn’t be scared to try something techy and consider digital jobs as an option too.”
Yasmin follows a host of successful alumni in Digital Creative Arts courses, such as TV and Film student Hannah Seager, who beat more than 9,000 applicants to land a job on the production team of Blue Peter, and Lewis Roberts who won a BTEC Award and is now at Unilad.
To apply for a course at Trafford College visit trafford.ac.uk, call (0161) 886 7070 or come to the next open event on Saturday 2nd November at Altrincham and Stretford campuses from 10am to 2pm