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Connect Yorkshire EIR David Richards, the technology entrepreneur and founder of listed software business WANdisco, has announced plans to launch a Data Academy in conjunction with Sheffield College.

Sheffield-based WANdisco plc, which also has a base in Silicon Valley in the US, will support with the recruitment for the Granville Road campus.

The plans will see 20 students join the academy for its first intake this September, as it looks to develop the next generation of software engineers.

WANdisco said the programme will be “relevant to the group’s business needs”, and students are guaranteed a job interview at the company once they’ve completed their studies.

The facility will feature state-of-the-art desktop and display equipment, and students at the WANdisco Data Academy will be working towards the BTEC National Extended Diploma Level 3 in Information Technology (software and data pathway).

David Richards said: “We want to equip young people in Sheffield with the skills and experience to succeed in the future work environment.

“We want to create opportunities for young people to fulfil their potential, regardless of their background, and enjoy rewarding careers in Yorkshire and beyond.

“Our new recruits will have the chance to work on software that helps farmers plough fields, studios make movies and healthcare companies predict cancers.

“We believe tech should be a force for good in our communities and very excited to meet our first group of new recruits.”

Angela Foulkes, chief executive and principal, The Sheffield College, said: “Young people joining the WANdisco Data Academy will be starting their careers at a global business at the forefront of the data revolution.

“We are providing a market-leading learning environment that will fully complement the changing way that young people interact with technology, research and learn.

“They will be able to acquire and develop valuable skills and experience which will make them highly employable as individuals.

“We are proud to be partnering with David Richards and his team and look forward to training and developing the next generation of technology entrepreneurs and engineers.”


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