Fujitsu and Intel invest in young Swansea Talent Bank learners
Sun 1st May
Talent Bank, which is part of the ARCH Programme, has just secured investment from Fujitsu, in collaboration with Intel, as part of its Fujitsu Ambassador Programme.
News of the funding was announced at London Excel’s recent Betts event, the world’s largest education technology show.
And the investment from two of the world’s leading technology firms, will mean Talent Bank’s first intake of Swansea students will learn in Wales’s first-ever Fujitsu Innovation Hub.
Talent Bank, which is led by Gower College Swansea in a partnership with the Institute of Life Science at Swansea University Medical School, is a new education and skills programme specifically designed to support the evolving life and health science sector in South West Wales. The project is being driven by the college’s Beverley Wilson-Smith and will ensure young people in Swansea graduate with the necessary work-based skills to progress to university, go on to work-based learning or directly into employment.
Beverley was at the London event when she heard the news Talent Bank had secured the major funding. She said:
“We are absolutely thrilled and excited to be chosen as the first Fujitsu's Innovation Hub in Wales. The Talent Bank is scheduled to open at Swansea University in September. It will be a dedicated learning space based in the Singleton Health Campus.”
The visionary ARCH (A Regional Collaboration for Health) Programme combines the three partners of Swansea University, ABMU and Hywel Dda health boards, who have united to improve the health and wealth of the people in South West Wales. As well as creating a healthcare system fit for the 21st Century, the ARCH partners are leading the way in ensuring the creation of the next generation of doctors, nurses, healthcare staff, scientists, researchers and innovators. The Talent Bank will provide a dynamic learning experience which will help deliver these goals.
Beverley added: “In winning this award, Fujitsu has recognised the potential in our vision. By working together and with industry, we can design relevant and dynamic learning experiences using technology as an interface to the real world.”
The Singleton Health Campus is based on the “MediPark” concept conceived by Swansea University’s Institute of Life Science (ILS). Through the ARCH programme, the Singleton Health Campus will be a centre of excellence for a broad range of care but it will also be an environment based on learning, research and innovation, which Beverley hopes will inspire youngsters in the area to take up a STEM-related subject.
She said: “The Talent Bank will be uniquely positioned next to ABMU’s Singleton Hospital site so they will be learning in a unique environment. This is pioneering stuff. And now our students will also benefit from the unprecedented state-of-the- art resources the Fujitsu Digilab will bring. It will provide them with one of the most advanced technological learning spaces in the region and will inspire and create a new generation of talent for the 21st Century.”
The Fujitsu programme already supports 10 schools, colleges and universities across the UK by setting up Innovation Hubs to equip these establishments with high performance solutions and support digital skills development.
The initiative aims to enhance teaching and unleash students' potential by putting technology at the heart of education. Fujitsu, alongside partners Intel, Brocade and Kyocera, will help fund the set up at Swansea along with the technology to support project-based learning and skills development. The Hubs will feature Fujitsu and Intel technology which will not only provide students with the opportunity to develop their digital skills, but educators themselves too.
Fujitsu UK and Ireland Director of Education Ash Merchant added: “We are incredibly excited to further grow our commitment to putting technology at the heart of education by naming Swansea in our 2016 Ambassador Programme.
“Passion goes a long way, however passion is sometimes not enough – education needs collaboration and support from the industry to really support the right skills development for young people, to lead to future employment opportunities and that’s what the Ambassador Programme is all about.”
David McCarron, Education Director at Intel, added: “We have a decade’s worth of experience, working with more than 12 million teachers globally, and we know the potential technology can bring to the classroom to enrich learning.
“We are thoroughly looking forward to embarking on 2016’s journey with Fujitsu and supporting the Talent Bank hub and preparing Swansea students for the digital future ahead.”
Dr Gareth Davies, from Swansea University’s Institute of Life Science (ILS), has welcomed the funding and says that, as well as the demonstrating their belief in the Talent Bank programme, Fujitsu’s commitment also brings with it something just as valuable.
Dr Davies said: “We are delighted with the news. But what is really exciting for us at the ILS is the brand power Fujitsu will bring to the table and the opportunities this will present to our young learners in Swansea.
“We should not under-estimate the forward thinking of the ARCH ethos and what Talent Bank can help deliver. The skills Talent Bank will provide are a vital part for realising how important the life science and health sectors are in this area.
“The involvement from such big-name firms as Fujitsu, along with the two university health boards and the university, will provide Talent Bank learners with a unique and ideal learning environment.”
Talent Bank will offer 100 learners a full-time education programme. It’s aimed at young people aged 16+ wanting to study STEM A Levels or Level 3 vocational and technical qualifications, or a higher apprenticeship programme in either life science or human and health science for those aged 18+ and employed in the sector.