Stafford College and risual launch ICT academy

Stafford College has joined forces with IT specialist risual to open a new ICT academy, where students will study a tailor-made NVQ qualification in a specially developed IT hub.

The new program will enable Stafford College to double its annual intake of apprentices amidst estimates from the Science Council that three quarters of employers in the IT, Digital and Information Services Sector face skill shortages. According to risual it should be able to create roles for more than 20 apprentices, improving the local economy and decreasing youth unemployment.

While Staffordshire has increased the percentage of high achieving schools in the area, prior to the risual’s involvement there was no focus on ICT skills in the area. In addition to their academy at Stafford College risual promotes the importance of basic ICT skils in local primary schools.

Anyone interested in IT can apply to study Level 2, 3 and Higher Apprenticeships in ICT and other business functions at the Academy, whether they want to be based in the projects office or involved in the industry through a role in marketing or finance.

The risual Academy hub has been outfitted with state-of-the-art IT equipment and decorated by artists Graffiti Kings to mirror risual’s headquarters at Staffordshire Technology Park.

Chris Clifford, Director of Business Development & Marketing at Stafford College, said: “We are delighted to be working directly with risual, who are one of the most innovative and rapidly growing IT companies in the area.”

He added: “Students will benefit from working with a forward thinking company that wants to invest in the region, with access to the latest technology and support from industry experts.”

Richard Proud, Director of risual, said: “risual’s growth is fuelled by raw talent. Part of our company ethos is to be able to take young people, give them opportunities within the business, help them develop their career and give them training. We want talented and entrepreneurial people who we can develop and progress very quickly and that is how we fuel our next generation of growth.

“We are really excited to be working with Stafford College and to be providing a wide range of opportunities to a new set of learners.”

risual has a long history of developing local talent; it recently ranked highest in the personal growth section of the Sunday Times Top 100 Small Companies to Work For rankings and takes on an average of 10 local apprentices per year.