UTC Heathrow welcomes new Digital Futures Programme partner, Soben

Aug 11, 2022

We are proud to announce a new partnership with global construction consultancy, Soben, which will see our students gain essential knowledge and skills needed to thrive in technical careers within the data centre sector.

Soben joins other leading industry partners already part of our Digital Futures Programme; CNet Training (CNet), Virtus Data Centres, CyrusOne, CBRE, Amazon Web Services, LMG, ARK Data Centres (Crown Hosting Data Centres Limited) and Yondr – offering students an exciting curriculum aimed at giving them the best possible start to a career within the Digital Infrastructure Industry.

This sector is currently experiencing unprecedented growth, which is only set to continue, but is facing an on-going skills shortage. This programme will help to future-proof the industry by inspiring a new generation to join it and enjoy a rewarding career.

The annual Digital Futures Programme intake is limited to 100 students at age 14, and 150 students studying the Level 3 engineering curriculum. Younger students will compete in industry-led Challenge Days, develop employability skills, and receive masterclasses to bring subjects to life, alongside studying for their GCSEs.

Meanwhile, older students will complete team projects within the curriculum and benefit from building impactful relationships with industry professionals. Students will leave UTC Heathrow with a BTEC Level 3 National Diploma/Extended Diplomas in Engineering (NQF).

Scott Smyth, Soben’s founder and Group CEO, commented: “I am thrilled that Soben is a partner of the fantastic Digital Futures Programme and is a testament to the role we play in the global data centre sector.

“The skills gap is not getting any smaller or easier for the digital infrastructure industry and we need to work collaboratively to find innovative solutions to quickly address these issues.

“The students at UTC Heathrow need clear direction and support to inspire a new pipeline of young and skilled talent to help them secure a career within a sector that offers huge opportunities and rewards. I am very happy we can play a part in that.”

Candace Rose Kumi, Employer Engagement Lead at UTC Heathrow, said: “After an incredible first year of the Digital Futures Programme, I am excited that Soben has joined our programme.

“With this additional partnership, UTC Heathrow will be able to deliver more CoTeach programmes which will help our students build the skills needed for the fast-growing data centre sector.”

Soben’s Managing Director of Consultancy EMEA, Derek McFarlane, commented: “Last year’s launch of the Digital Futures Programme gives students a distinctive advantage to develop a career in the data centre sector and clearly shows that the UTC education model has real value.

“For Soben to be involved with the Digital Futures Programme, alongside the blue-chip companies that are already onboard, is a huge milestone for us and perfectly illustrates the exciting growth journey we are currently on.”

The programme also ensures students have a direct line of sight into a rewarding career, while giving the partners a unique opportunity to contribute to educating the next generation of data centre talent. This will make certain that the students gain the much sought-after skills that these businesses need and sets in motion the longer-term steps required to tackle the skills shortage.

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