London launch for brand new risual Microsoft Academy

A new IT academy at The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) will address a shortage in digital skills by equipping students and apprentices with hi-tech expertise to succeed in the industry.

The risual Academy, a partnership between the College and market leading IT services and consultancy firm risual, comprises a new cutting edge Microsoft Showcase Classroom, an Apprenticeship scheme and workshops by industry experts throughout the year.

Britain’s IT workforce is expected to grow by 39% by 2030 while 82% of cybersecurity companies globally feel there is a large shortage of employees in this area.

The Academy was officially launched at a short ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Showcase Classroom conducted by Principal Andy Forbes on 9 November.

Mr Forbes said: “We all know the UK is facing a shortage of digital skills, and here at CONEL we’re working directly in partnership with industry and employers to fill the gap.

“This marvellous new Academy, and the apprenticeship opportunities associated with it, will help to put Tottenham on the map as the place to go for top quality digital learning.”

The event was attended by risual Director Alun Rogers; Richard Zaltzman, Public Sector Director – Small and Mid-Market Solutions and Partners at Microsoft, and Councillor Elin Weston, Cabinet Member for Children and Families at Haringey Council.

Also at the launch were representatives from other colleges and schools, London businesses, apprenticeship partners and College staff and students.

CONEL currently has 19 staff qualified as Microsoft Certified Educators (MCEs) and is in the process of upskilling the rest to increase digital skills across its provision.

Tina Jones, Director of Education at risual, said: “What is exciting is that CONEL has invested time in its teaching staff to use this technology more effectively and into teaching and learning across the College to ensure students from all sectors benefit from this, not just IT learners.”

The event also offered the chance for the employers to take part in a business workshop to discuss the recruitment of apprentices and also guide them through the forthcoming Apprenticeship Levy.

A group of the first risual apprentices, who began their employment ahead of the Academy’s official launch, also took part in a workshop on Sway, a Microsoft application which enables you to create interactive reports, presentations, stories and other content.

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