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Global Award for UTC Heathrow

Global Award for UTC Heathrow


UTC Heathrow, based in Northwood, has scooped a global award for the ‘Education and Employment Project Award 2022’ at the prestigious technology focused Global Datacloud Awards.

The award, which took place in Monaco on April 25, celebrates the successful launch of the very first UTC (University Technical College) dedicated to the data centre sector in Heathrow.

Launched in November 2021, the exclusive ‘Digital Futures Programme’ saw a group of eight global digital infrastructure leaders collaborating to create the curriculum for 14-19-year-olds. The result is the Digital Futures Programme - a global first education programme focused on the digital infrastructure industry with an objective of introducing new talent to the industry.

While little is known about the data centre industry, (a data centre is where the Internet ‘happens’, where data is stored and accessed securely) the sector is experiencing a critical skills shortage with an ageing workforce, coupled with a surge in internet and digital communications usage since the Covid-19 pandemic.

With global demand for data centre staff set to increase from two million in 2019 to nearly 2.3m by 2025, the Digital Futures Programme will help to future-proof this essential industry by inspiring a new generation to join it and enjoy a rewarding career.

For the Digital Futures Programme to receive such international recognition less than a year since its inception is a testimony to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in the project at UTC Heathrow, as well as the dedicated work of its partners: CNet Training, Ark Data Centres, Amazon Web Services (AWS), CBRE Data Centers, CyrusOne, LMG, Virtus Data Centres and Yondr Group.

Speaking about the win, Principal of UTC Heathrow Wayne Edwards said: “I am very proud that UTC Heathrow and our Digital Future’s Programme partners have received this award. The commitment from all the partners is clear in supporting the education of our students, to give them the right skills to succeed throughout the digital infrastructure industry.

“The Digital Futures Programme is great example of how education and industry are working together to support the skills gap in the digital infrastructure industry by delivering the skills through experience and essential qualifications.’

CNet Training President and CEO Andrew Stevens, one the Digital Futures Partners, added: “The skills gap is not getting any easier for the digital infrastructure industry. We all need to work together and do it in a way that will make a real difference at a time when young people need inspiration, support and the opportunity to secure a career with huge opportunities. This is a problem that the industry can only tackle head-on by working collectively; we need to showcase the amazing career opportunities in the data centre sector and help young people to prepare for and access them.”