News - 29 November 2021

D2N2 LEP supports leading tech company to join forces with Nottingham Forest for major education partnership

Pupils in Nottinghamshire are being inspired to Think Big, as part of a five year transformational education programme, designed to pave the way for an advancing technological future.

Global software provider, Ideagen Plc, has joined with Nottingham Forest Community Trust (NFCT) for the ‘Think Big’ initiative, designed to boost career prospects in technology and to help bridge the UK’s digital skills gap.

The programme was officially launched at Ideagen’s Ruddington HQ by Ben Dorks, Ideagen CEO and Graham Moran, NFCT CEO, on Thursday, November 25.

As well as grant funding the scheme, Ideagen has also committed to opening up thirty apprenticeships throughout the next three years, from intermediate (level 2) to degree level.

Think Big involves a range of activities for 14 to 16 year olds with the aim of promoting technology as a career choice, raising awareness of the different technology-related career paths and to increase the number of young people embarking on technology careers post-education.

To mark the launch, an exclusive feature film has been created to display how technological advancements have impacted our lives, careers and sport, which will be shown to young people throughout the campaign.

The Nottinghamshire-based Greenwood Academies Trust is the first education provider to join the Think Big campaign. The Trust currently operates through 36 academies, educating approximately 17,000 pupils around Nottingham City, Nottinghamshire, Leicester City, Northamptonshire, Peterborough, Lincolnshire and Central Bedfordshire.

Pupils will be invited to take part in technology workshops at the Ideagen HQ that will aim to increase awareness of the wide spectrum of jobs that are available in tech and how tech skills can lead to careers in a range of industries.

The campaign will also place a focus on relatable role models, at both Ideagen and Nottingham Forest, in very different roles, at various levels in their careers, to showcase the possibilities of tech careers.

From VAR to goal line technology, innovation through technology in sport continues to grow. Through the campaign, young people will be invited to match day activities, as well as sessions at the club on how technological developments have advanced and revolutionised the game of football.

An extensive bank of online resources is also being developed and will be available for students through a dedicated Think Big website.

Ben Dorks, CEO of Ideagen, said: “It is vitally important that we at Ideagen, as a local employer and a successful and consistently growing technology leader, do all we can to encourage young people into careers in technology. Having grown up in Nottinghamshire myself, I am passionate that Ideagen has a positive impact on the career aspirations and skills of young people in this great city.

“Our aim is to widen opportunities for our local young people by providing them with high quality learning experiences that will help them thrive in a world driven by technology. Inspiring and motivating young people is what we strive for and I am excited to continue lighting the pathway to success in a city filled with outstanding talent.”

Graham Moran, NFCT CEO, said: “Nottingham Forest Community Trust is delighted to be working alongside Ideagen harnessing the positive power of the private and third sectors in providing exciting opportunities for local young people to find sustainable employment in the tech industry.”

Dan Heffernan, Careers & Young People Lead at D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “D2N2 LEP and the Careers & Enterprise Company are incredibly proud to be supporting this innovative project led by Ideagen and Nottingham Forest FC. A programme that supports and enables our young people to consider a future career within the technology industry is not only incredibly welcome, it’s desperately needed.”

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