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Leading Academy Puts Trust in UKFast

Article date: Tue, 08 Mar 2016 15:53 GMT

Lawrence Jones Tarun Kapur

Cloud infrastructure firm UKFast and leading education provider The Dean Trust are joining forces to improve outcomes for students in tech and digital and to meet the skills challenges of the Northern Powerhouse.

The deal, making UKFast exclusive Tech Education Partner of the academy trust, sees the innovative firm providing IT services and support to all seven schools and academies under The Dean Trust banner. The agreement also paves the way for UKFast to be involved in designing the tech and digital curriculum at The Dean Trust in order to create a culture of 'digital excellence'.

UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones MBE said: "We're delighted to be signing this deal with The Dean Trust. We've been involved in education and digital skills for several years, since taking on full-time teachers, but this paves the way for us to deliver real innovation and creativity in tech education. This partnership is already making a difference to students' lives and to the northern tech industry but there is so much more to come."

UKFast directly engages more than 30,000 children across Greater Manchester, offering masterclasses, code clubs, workshops and educational visits to its campus offices and data centre complex. The firm now employs four full-time teachers and three full-time trainers to deliver these programmes alongside a multi-award-winning apprenticeship scheme, which has just received its largest ever intake.

Jones continued: "We've heard so many businesses complaining about the skills gap and the impact it might have on our digital economy. It's time to stop talking and start acting.

The Dean Trust runs seven schools across Greater Manchester and Merseyside.

Chief Executive and Academy Principal Tarun Kapur CBE said: "We are determined to prepare our students for their life after school and this means embedding skills that can be adapted and built upon as they (the students) grow and develop. Working with UKFast allows us to design the most up to date digital curriculum that can be rolled out to our existing schools and to further schools in GM as we grow our partnership."

The gap in IT skills has been identified as a block to economic growth and a potential obstacle to maximising the opportunity of the Northern Powerhouse.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: "For Manchester and the region to thrive, we need to ensure that the people who live here are equipped with the skills to prosper in the jobs created in our growing economy. The digital sector is an increasingly important part of that growth and it is great to see a leading Manchester-based firm playing a key role in shaping the skills of the future."

Due to the huge success of the Dean Trust's existing schools, the organisation is working to develop additional schools with its partners in the Manchester area.


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