Derby College has launched the first in a planned series of BIM training “academies”, backed by a partnership between software company Autodesk and IT training consultant Risual Education, which has already created academies in other sectors.
The Derby College initiative is also being supported by Cadline, an Autodesk authorised training centre, which will be training Derby College staff in Autodesk systems.
The academies at Derby and elsewhere are aimed at increasing the pool of new entrants to construction and engineering sectors with work-ready digital skills.
The initiative, which is also aligned with Microsoft software, will support students studying BIM and CAD on further and higher education programmes, and will also fulfil the academic component of apprenticeship training for local employers.
Software and hardware has been installed in a dedicated learning suite at the college, where CPD courses for employees will also be available.
According to Autodesk, the academy programme is “led by the Autodesk Education team with a purpose to create hubs of advanced users of Autodesk technology where we can direct customers when they are looking for resources”.
As part of the curriculum, students will sit the Autodesk Certified User and Autodesk Certified Professional exams and be added to the company’s Student Expert Network, which allows it to keep in touch with Autodesk users as they progress through their careers.
Risual’s director of education, Chris Clifford, said: “The success of the Risual academy model has resulted in the expansion of the sectors to BIM. These qualifications and skills are in high demand and the academy is therefore key to business growth.”
Derby College says that the initiative is already supporting apprenticeship growth in the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area.
Derby College’s business development director, April Hayhurst, added: “We work with a wide range of employers across all sectors to ensure they have the skills in place both now and in the future through our wide range of programmes from further education and apprenticeships to higher education and management training.
“Our continued partnership with Risual will enable our own students and apprentices to have access to the latest software that will enhance their study programmes and better prepare them for the world of work.
“The new facilities will also be greatly welcomed by local and regional employers as part of their workforce development programmes to upskill their staff and increase their competitive edge.”