Students and employers from across Yorkshire are set to benefit from a significant investment in the digital infrastructure at Bishop Burton College.
The college has recently completed a £650,000 project to upgrade its ICT systems, which will provide the platform to train current and future generations of highly skilled workers and provide a valuable contribution to the agriculture sector, in particular.
The initiative, which included funding of £400,000 from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, awarded by the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (YNYER LEP), has vastly improved the Wi-Fi on campus to improve the student experience and provide them with increased access to a range of online resources.
This new investment is also enabling students and the range of employers that the college works with to take advantage of technology needed in modern training, such as using drones to evaluate crop growth on the college farm.
The benefits of the new ICT infrastructure are set to extend far beyond the campus too, enabling employers across the region to access online training for their staff. Farmers, for example, will be able to access the skills training required to benefit from the latest precision farming systems without coming into college.
With support from the LEP, Bishop Burton has developed a wide range of precision farming training modules which can now be adapted for online delivery to learners in the workplace. These modules will use real-time data made available from the college farm.
Bill Meredith, Chief Executive and Principal of the college, said: “These are exciting times for Bishop Burton.
“This initiative proves the commitment to investing in our infrastructure and resources, to ensure we are truly state-of-the-art.
“That is the expectation of our students, staff and industry partners – and rightly so.”
Minister of State for Local Growth, the Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, said: “We’re committed to boosting economic growth across the Northern Powerhouse and levelling up all of our regions.
“This £400,000 investment from the Government’s Local Growth Fund is bringing state-of-the-art digital infrastructure to Bishop Burton College. As we prepare to seize all of the economic opportunities that come from our departure from the EU on the 31st October, this investment will help students gain invaluable new skills and training so they can compete and succeed in a global economy.”
Dr Ruth Smith, chair of YNYER LEP’s Skills and Employability Board, said: “Investment in digital infrastructure and resources ensures that the young people of the region are prepared with the right skills using the most up to date modern training. Improved Wi-Fi allows students to fully access the education and skills available and take advantage of the technology needed to deliver courses of the highest standard.”
News of the digital infrastructure investment was quickly followed by the announcement the college will become a new centre of excellence for high-level technical skills training in the region, with a multi-million-pound investment.
Bishop Burton will work with seven other further education colleges and two universities to develop the Yorkshire and Humber Institute of Technology (IoT).
It will benefit from a capital investment of circa £2m, which will be spent on a new training facility and related technology.
There are still places available to join Bishop Burton College this September. For more information, visit www.bishopburton.ac.uk.