Council and UCW championing digital business solutions

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North Somerset Council and University Centre Weston (UCW) are working together to give students the opportunity to showcase their digital skills to local employers.

Students from the UCW BA (Hons) top-up degree in Applied Computing which is delivered in partnership with UWE Bristol, will present the website and application development projects they have been working on to local businesses at an event on Thursday 18 May.

The event, which is being co-hosted by UCW and North Somerset Council, will be attended by local businesses and digital technology experts, and takes place at the Knightstone Campus in the centre of Weston.

The projects to be showcased include new websites for organisations including Badgworth Equestrian Centre, SJ Clarke Property Maintenance, and creative and retail businesses; an automated tagging system for Middle Moor Farm; a smartphone mileage tracker for Wassenburg Medical; and an application designed to manage British Show Jumping events at affiliated equestrian centres.

Students will have an opportunity to pitch their projects to a panel of judges at The Hive business enterprise hub in Weston prior to the event and an award for the best project will be presented on the night, which will also include short talks about cybersecurity and UCW’s new Degree Apprenticeship in Digital and Business Solutions.

Deputy Leader of North Somerset Council, Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, said: “Digital business is a big and increasingly important part of the North Somerset economy, so it’s essential that we are growing our own talent for our future workforce.

“I am continuously impressed by the digital skills that our young people are developing and I am looking forward being part of the judging panel and learning more about the students’ projects.

“The event will also be an excellent opportunity for North Somerset’s talented digital students and businesses to meet each other and develop a better understanding of local digital opportunities.”

Mark Barnett, UCW’s Subject Area Manager for IT, said: “Applied Computing is a subject UCW excels at, with 47% of last year’s Honours students achieving First Class degrees, which is almost double the national average.

“One of the reasons for this success is that we place such a strong emphasis on our students engaging with these opportunities for work-based learning and professional development.

“We were therefore delighted to help these organisations enhance their digital enterprises, and can’t wait to show off so many great projects at this event.”