Staffordshire gets digital at Shire Hall

“As the leading digital university, it's important we demonstrate how we collaborate with companies like Microsoft and organisations such as Staffordshire County Council to make Staffordshire the place for digital skills - and that’s exactly what we've done today.”

Andrew Proctor, Director of Digital Services

Staffordshire schoolchildren and businesses have been learning about new digital skills from coding to 'the cloud' at a free event this week.

Staffordshire University teamed up with Microsoft UK and Staffordshire County Council to host Digital Skills Live at Shire Hall in Stafford.

The day was packed full of activities delivered by Microsoft to help people of all ages get to grips with new digital technologies. Staff and students from Staffordshire University were also on hand to help throughout the day.

Pupils from St John's Primary Academy got hands on with coding and used micro:bits, battery packs and Microsoft Surface Pros to make flashing Halloween masks. Visitors were also able to try out high tech kit including Virtual Reality headsets and eye-tracking software.

A pioneer of digital learning, Staffordshire University was the first Higher Education Institution in Europe to adopt the Microsoft Cloud and the Digital Services team helped to advise businesses how to make the most of the service.

Helen Holt, Digital Business Partner at Staffordshire University, explained: “It was a fun and vibrant event with colleagues, students and apprentices from many areas of the University working together alongside Microsoft and Staffs CC to enhance and promote digital skills to the community of Stafford. The smiles on the faces of the children who attended made it all worthwhile.”

The event follows the launch of a new partnership with Staffordshire County Council designed to improve lives and productivity through cutting-edge technology.

Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Jobs and Growth, added: “It's very pleasing to see so many children and adults learning new digital skills or improving existing ones as it’s essential we have a skilled hi-tech workforce in Staffordshire.

“And I was delighted to see Shire Hall being used in such an innovative way while we find a viable, self-sustaining future use for it, which complements the town centre’s redevelopment.”

The day was also an opportunity for businesses to meet current Digital Skills Apprentices from Staffordshire University and learn how they can develop apprenticeships for their own workforces.

Andrew Proctor, Director of Digital Services, added: “It’s been a fantastic day here in Stafford. We've had local school children learning about coding, local business leaders hearing about the importance of digital skills and cloud technology and also members of the public finding out about our sector leading apprenticeship offer.

“As the leading digital university, it's important we demonstrate how we collaborate with companies like Microsoft and organisations such as Staffordshire County Council to make Staffordshire the place for digital skills - and that's exactly what we’ve done today.”

Discover more about Staffordshire University's Higher and Degree Apprenticeships here.

Contact

Amy Platts
Multimedia Press Officer
Marketing and Public Relations
L600, Flaxman Building
College Road
Stoke-on-Trent
ST4 2DE
t: +44(0) 1782 292702
m: 07799341911
e: amy.platts@staffs.ac.uk