Digital Futures Programme

With the rapid digital transformation of business, communities and society, the data centre sector is experiencing rapid growth, and is facing an on-going skills shortage.

The Digital Futures programme will train young people as engineers to build out the digital highways to enable the world to communicate securely, and at speed.

Data Centres require engineers with mechanical and electrical engineering skills, knowledge of IoT devices and cabling infrastructure, and project management.

This exclusive programme will provide young people with the opportunity to start training for a world-class career, in a course designed by some of the industry’s biggest companies.

The Programme

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.
Programme format
Our industry partners will all provide elements of the Digital Futures Programme, which is embedded into our core engineering curriculum. The programme will incorporate:

Year 10-11

CoTeach Lessons – masterclasses delivered by industry partners in the curriculum

CoTeach Workshops – training delivered by industry partners to develop key employability skills Challenge Days – drop down days where students work in teams alongside industry partners

Year 12-13

CoTeach Projects – specialist activities within the engineering curriculum delivered by industry partners to provide contextual learning and an in-depth understanding of the data centre environment

CoTeach Workshops – activities delivered by industry partners to help students to develop the employability skills needed in the world of work

Pipeline Programme – work placements with industry partners to develop the skills needed for world-class careers. Critically this also enables students to make a great impression with potential employers and to learn more about the careers available in the data centre industry

What will it lead to?

Students will leave UTC Heathrow with a BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate/Diploma/Extended Diplomas in Engineering and/or A levels in STEM. On completion of the Digital Futures Programme, students will have:

  • Completed multiple projects led by employers within the specialist technical pathway
  • Undertaken work placements
  • Built relationships with leading industry partners to create opportunities for careers, either as apprentices or as graduates following university

Here’s what we’ve been doing



Digital Futures Articles

Founding DFP partners meet Lord Baker at House of Lords

Founding DFP partners meet Lord Baker at House of Lords

  Two of the founding partners behind UTC Heathrow's Digital Futures Programme enjoyed a celebratory lunch at the House of Lords on Friday, 17 October.  CNet Training's President and CEO Andrew Stevens and Matt Pullen, MD Europe of CyrusOne, were hosted by The Rt...

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Kao Data joins Digital Futures Programme

Kao Data joins Digital Futures Programme

UTC Heathrow is delighted to announce a new partnership for its flagship Digital Futures Programme - Kao Data. High-performance data centre operator Kao Data will join nine other world-leading data centre firms in working alongside the UTC to deliver a co-teach...

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Students warm up to cooling systems

Students warm up to cooling systems

Year 12 BTEC Engineering students took on the first part of a complex real-world challenge in their first Unit 5 course assignment last week in engineering module delivered by Ark Data Centres. As part of the Digital Futures Programme, which focuses on engineering...

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Court built created thanks to generous donation from UTC Heathrow partner CyrusOne UTC Heathrow students have been burning off energy on a brand-new multi-sports court built on a previously inaccessible piece of land, thanks to funding from one of the school’s...

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Racking up data centre knowledge

Racking up data centre knowledge

Students enjoyed a hands-on lesson in connectivity, when representatives from CNet Training came in to deliver a Data Racks Workshop to Year 11 students as part of the *Digital Futures Programme. For the uninitiated, data racks are a type of physical steel and...

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Digital Futures: a lesson in risk assessment

Digital Futures: a lesson in risk assessment

Our Year 12 Year Engineering students have been learning some important lessons in risk assessment processes, in support of their Digital Futures Programme Unit 2 assignment. Every business has the possibility of a situation that adversely impacts operations. Risk...

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Hear from our Partners

CNet Training

CNet Training is recognised throughout the world for being the global industry leader and the only industry dedicated education provider to award both internationally recognised qualifications and professional certifications, starting at qualification level 3 through to a level 7 Masters Degree in Data Centre Leadership and Management. A significant part of CNet Training’s history is the development of the highly acclaimed Global Digital Infrastructure Education Framework, which allows individuals to plan data centre knowledge and skills progression, qualifications and certifications to meet individual career aspirations.

VIRTUS Data Centres

VIRTUS Data Centres (VIRTUS), London’s leading data centre company and part of ST Telemedia Global Data Centres (STT GDC), builds and operates the UK’s most efficient facilities which underpin the UK’s digital economy.

VIRTUS has over a decade of experience designing and operating cutting-edge data centres in London’s metro. Over the years, it has built a strong reputation for providing Operational Excellence and delivering robust, complex solutions for the most demanding Global customers. It is home to large and small enterprises, global hyperscale cloud customers, banks, charities, universities and technology start-ups.


CyrusOne (NASDAQ: CONE) is a premier global REIT specializing in design, construction and operation of more than 50 high-performance data centers worldwide. The Company provides mission-critical facilities that ensure the continued operation of IT infrastructure for approximately 1,000 customers, including approximately 200 Fortune 1000 companies.

A leader in hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud deployments, CyrusOne offers colocation, hyperscale, and build-to-suit environments that help customers enhance the strategic connection of their essential data infrastructure and support achievement of sustainability goals. CyrusOne data centers offer world-class flexibility, enabling clients to modernize, simplify, and rapidly respond to changing demand. Combining exceptional financial strength with a broad global footprint, CyrusOne provides customers with long-term stability and strategic advantage at scale.


The World’s Leading Full Service Data Centre Services Partner

CBRE Data Centre Solutions (DCS) delivers fully integrated real estate, facilities and technology solutions for data centre owners, occupiers and investors across the globe. As a dedicated business line within CBRE, DCS is dedicated to solving complex challenges within every stage of the data centre lifecycle. Whether you are looking to develop, build, buy, sell, or manage and modernise one data centre or an entire portfolio—DCS can help your priorities succeed with certainty.

700+ data centres managed including enterprise, colocation and hyperscale/ 50+ countries represented with a global network of deep experience/ $1.7B in transactions per year delivering proactive insights and expertise locally, regionally and globally.

Amazon Web Services

For over 15 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud offering.

AWS has been continually expanding its services to support virtually any cloud workload, and it now has more than 200 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management from 81 Availability Zones within 25 geographic regions, with announced plans for 21 more Availability Zones and seven more AWS Regions in Australia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates.

Millions of customers—including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—trust AWS to power their infrastructure, become more agile, and lower costs. To learn more about AWS, visit


Based in central London, with revenues of £35m, LMG has been providing ICT, facilities management and corporate real estate infrastructure services since 1986. Working across a wide range of industries including; financial services, technology, communications, government, hospitality and residential, we help global organisations plan, install and manage the smart building systems and infrastructure they need for inspirational workplaces, efficient data centres and connected homes.

Our data centre services include the design & build of landlord/operator areas with smart building technology, ICT infrastructure, audio-visual and electronic security systems, in addition to the fit-out of white space and provision of tenant support.

ARK Data Centres (Crown Hosting Data Centres Limited)

Crown Hosting Data Centres Limited is a unique joint venture between the Cabinet Office and Ark Data Centres dedicated to serving the Public Sector. Together we are the trusted partner of the UK Government delivering increased efficiency, improved value, and transparency of Data Centre Services.

Combined, we bring the Government assurance, integrity and capabilities of the Public Sector, unified with the speed of execution and flexibility of the Private Sector.

We offer all Public Sector organisations the same foundation to create and inspire change, opportunities to transform, move forward, consolidate infrastructure, and migrate to new platforms using a more efficient and cost-effective model.


Yondr is a developer, owner operator and service provider of hyperscale data centres. The company’s mission is to meet growing businesses’ data centre capacity and technical real estate needs faster, more elegantly and with better performance outcomes than anyone else. As an organisation, Yondr self-funds, designs, delivers and operates hyperscale data centre facilities globally.

Kao Data

Founded in 2014, Kao Data develops and operates high performance data centres for advanced computing. With hyperscale-inspired facilities east and west of London, it provides enterprise, cloud, HPC and AI customers with a world-class home for their compute.

Kao Data is backed by leading international investors and our state-of-the-art, OCP-Ready and DGX-Ready data centres are designed, engineered and operated by one of the industry’s most respected teams.

With a combined footprint of 55MW, all utilising 100% renewable energy, Kao Data is trusted to house the most demanding compute infrastructure today, including NVIDIA’s Cambridge-1, the UK’s most powerful supercomputer.


JLL UK, a leading professional services firm specialising in real estate and investment management.

JLL take pride in choosing the more intelligent, optimistic, and collaborative way forward. With over 200 years of real estate experience, they are,and always have been, in continual pursuit of brighter ways of working. Their expertise is backed by mass global intelligence, emerging technologies, and data and insights, allowing them to uncover smarter solutions for clients in the UK and globally, all backed up with local insights for UK clients.


Vertiv brings together hardware, software, analytics and ongoing services to enable its customers’ vital applications to run continuously, perform optimally and grow with their business needs.

Vertiv solves the most important challenges facing today’s data centers, communication networks and commercial and industrial facilities with a portfolio of power, cooling and IT infrastructure solutions and services that extends from the cloud to the edge of the network. Headquartered in Westerville, Ohio, USA, Vertiv does business in more than 130 countries. 


Year 10


Year 12

Our Partners