Hull College driving digital skills development as headline partner of Tech Week Humber

04th Apr

Hull College is to reinforce its vision for the development of young people and adults from across the region by taking a lead role in a festival of technology that brings together education and business from around the world.

The college has signed up as the first headline partner for Tech Week Humber incorporating Tech Expo, which will take place in various locations across Hull in November 2022.

Launched in 2019 by Hull-based GBE Connect, Tech Week Humber was repeated in a virtual format in 2020 and returned in 2021 as a hybrid event which attracted some of the world’s top tech brands as partners and participants.

The activities are designed to showcase innovation from the Humber and to partner with the international tech community.

Details of the programme, speakers and venues will be announced later this month, but one element already confirmed is the educators’ conference, which will assemble industry experts to guide school leaders through the emerging technologies around teaching digital skills.

That sharp focus on education and skills resonated with the work of Hull College which, under new principal and CEO Debra Gray, has placed technology at the heart of Focused on the Future, its mission and vision for 2022-25.

The college works closely with employers across the region and supports the city centre economy with thousands of students and staff at its Queens Gardens site.

The new strategy is a commitment by the college to continue to develop its technical provision and alignment with the skills needs and opportunities in the region, taking an inclusive approach which will help to ensure young people and adults at risk of being marginalised are included in the region’s future prosperity.

Debra said: “I am delighted that the college has decided to step into the digital space. I know that much work has been undertaken already to develop the foundations for digital innovation at Hull, and I look forward to accelerating this important agenda, one which is very close to my heart.”

The college has upgraded its entire ICT infrastructure over the past four years, recognising that digital literacy is the set of skills, knowledge and attitudes that enable confident, creative and critical use of technologies and systems at work and at home.

During the pandemic, the college enhanced its capacity to deliver online learning and remote services, including identifying and addressing significant levels of digital poverty faced by some students. The partnership with Tech Week Humber will help the college reach more learners and strengthen its links with businesses and other education providers,

Lynette Leith, vice-principal curriculum at Hull College, added: “We’re really excited about the partnership with Tech Week Humber. Digital development is a key priority in all sectors and so having this level of engagement with Tech Week Humber will not only support our digital strategy at organisational level but most importantly provide ample opportunities for our students, who will participate in Tech Week Humber on a much larger scale than ever before.

“We can’t wait to showcase how our Institute of Arts are using technology in curriculum, for example the use of drones in fashion and textiles. We also have our Institute of Advanced Vehicle Manufacturing developing skills in electrical vehicle technology, and the general development of tech in teaching such as AI, digital platforms, and digital skill development of staff. With the support of Tech Week Humber, through this partnership, I hope to see Hull College’s digital development really take off.”

Antonio Tombanane, founder of GBE Connect, said: “This year’s Tech Week Humber promises to be the biggest and best so far and much of that will be down to the support of Hull College, which is going through a major transformation with new leadership and exciting, innovative ideas.

“We will draw on existing and new partnerships with the world’s most influential tech brands to present an array of physical and virtual events throughout the week at different locations that will bring together the business community and the education and skills sector. Together with Hull College, we will position Tech Week Humber to highlight the commercial advantages available to tech businesses locating in the city, the programmes of support available to existing businesses and the opportunities for local people to develop new digital skills.”

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