Blackburn College has launched a new facility designed to help it work closer with industry and to help deliver in-demand skills in high-growth areas such as tech, cyber security, health and engineering.
The college has invested in the creation of its Industry Collaboration Zone (ICZ) which provides a high-tech, central hub to open up new opportunities through collaboration.
Businesses of all sizes, public bodies and other organisations can use the space to host their own events, and it will provide a base for the college to expand its own industry events programme.
The ICZ will also bring new co-working spaces to the town centre to support business start-ups and, importantly, will allow students to network and learn from a range of business experts.
Based in the college’s Harrison Building, the Zone features a 1,670 sq ft of conference and events space, as well as co-working desks, five meeting rooms to seat up to 12 people and a fully equipped, modern boardroom. All equipment has been sourced from local suppliers.
Dr Fazal Dad, Blackburn College’s principal and chief executive, said that establishing the ICZ has been his personal ambition since joining the College in 2019.
He said: “Everything we do at Blackburn College is focused on ensuring that the young people who leave us at the end of their studies are equipped with the skills they need to take on the world of work. In the age of technology, what that world looks like is ever-changing.
“What we do know is that there are huge skills gaps in digital, cyber security, healthcare and more that need to be filled to enable our regional economy to fulfil its potential. There are also many great organisations who are working together to solve this challenge."
The ICZ joins a range of purpose-built facilities on site at the college, which includes a new million-pound cyber suite, healthcare simulation ward and the Hybrid Electric Automotive Training (HEAT) centre.
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