Sponsor Interview: Exeter College

Exeter College’s Rob Bosworth, Vice Principal, Schools, Partnerships and Curriculum talks Venturefest South West 2019.

1) Why is Venturefest SW important to the region?
Venturefest SW is a key enabler in championing the region as a leader in the technical revolution. The South West has so many innovative companies and we hope this event will enable more start-ups and attract more external funding and investment – we are delighted to be a partner.

We have a critical role to play in ensuring the very best businesses are attracted to the area. They will only come if they feel the skills demands on the business can be met with local and regional talent. We are a critical cog in that machine.

Exeter College is recognised as a national leader in driving world-class technical education, and so supporting Venturefest SW is part of our wider strategy to lead the technical revolution in the South West and UK Plc. The college is creating a new £10.3m Digital and Data Education Hub at its Hele Road Campus, a nationally significant digital learning centre within the heart of the South West, as part of the planned South West Institute of Technology.

Meanwhile, Exeter College is leading the way in offering the technical qualifications and skills to meet the needs of our learners and employers – marking a revolution in technical education. We are one of the very first providers of new T Levels from 2020, one of only a select group nationally and the only one in Devon. T Levels are new courses that have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses to meet the needs of industry and prepare students for work.

Exeter College is also pioneering higher level Apprenticeships to meet the needs of our employers, with new Apprenticeships in Data and Digital, once again designed to meet the needs of employers for the new technical age; and train a new generation with the skills they need for the future.

2) What three pieces of advice would you give to a technology innovator?
o Think about the skills you need to scale-up;
o Talk to your local college – they may be able to offer more than you think;
o Believe in the South West – we are connected and believe in you!

3) What’s the most exciting piece of tech you have come across in the region?
So much is happening, from the bespoke Maths learning programmes at Sparks, the forecasting capability at the Met office, to automated ships at Babcock. But my favourite is the virtual welding – try it at Venturefest SW – we will be there with an Exeter College display of virtual welding!

4)What tech do you think will have the biggest impact on the region in the future?
Connectivity being a given… I think augmented reality and virtual reality will be an integral part of skills development and learning, as our capabilities get stretched beyond our current expectations.