A new, specialist further education college devoted to teaching advanced technical skills to support the rapidly-growing digital economy has been officially launched in Tottenham Hale.
Ada, the National College for Digital Skills was today officially launched by Robert Halfon MP, Minister of State for Education and Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills. The first of the government’s National Colleges, it recently opened the doors of its newly-built campus to 58 students aged 16-19, who it aims to equip with the skillsets, mindsets and networks to thrive in tomorrow’s workplace.
The College received £18.2 million from the London Local Enterprise Partnership’s Further Education Capital Fund and £13.4 million from the Department for Education. The National Colleges are a key part of government plans to deliver high-level technical training to create the skilled workforce of the future.
At the launch Mr Halfon and Mr Pipe met students, staff and some of the College’s Founding Partners (King, Deloitte, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, IBM and Gamesys and the Aldridge Foundation), who have offered more than £1 million in support.
It aims to use digital skills to drive social mobility and promote diversity, with a target of 2,000 students by 2021 – of which 50 per cent will be women and 50 per cent will be from low-income households.
Minister of State for Education, Robert Halfon MP, said: “The young people I have met today will be the digital innovators of tomorrow. They’ll benefit from top quality training and leading industry work experience. It was excellent to see the remarkable work that the college is doing.
“The National College for Digital Skills is so special because it’s been designed by top employers from the digital industries, who know the skills learners need to land the top jobs of the future.”
Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, said: “As our economy evolves the skills demanded of our workforce evolve too. The Mayor and I are focussed on ensuring young people across London enter the workforce equipped with the knowledge and expertise, which will serve them well in the future. I’m really pleased to see first-hand how we are putting that into practice and I look forward to pushing digital skills further up the agenda.”
Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s president for EMEA Alex Wilmot-Sitwell echoed these comments saying: “The digital skills gap is one of the biggest challenges facing the UK economy. This is why we are proud to be a founding partner of Ada, to ensure that the next generation is equipped with the vital digital skills they need to thrive in tomorrow’s workplace.”
Haringey Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Cllr Joe Goldberg also welcomed the College to Tottenham Hale: “I’m incredibly proud that Ada, the National College for Digital Skills has picked Tottenham above all places to be its home. It is central to our ambition to turn the area into London’s fastest and most dynamic centre for digital innovation.”
The College is named in memory of 19th century mathematician and writer Ada Lovelace, known for her work on Charles Babbage’s early mechanical computer, the Analytical Engine. The launch coincides with the annual Ada Lovelace Day, which seeks to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths.