Law firm Mourant Ozannes and Beaulieu Convent School are collaborating to launch Jersey’s first ever gigabit Learning & Innovation Centre, bringing the latest technology skills training to local communities free of charge later this year.
The innovative project is being co-funded by Beaulieu, and is being spearheaded by Assistant Head for Curriculum and Technology at Beaulieu, Rory Steel. Outside of school hours, it will see up to 30 students at a time given a range of technology training in areas such as coding, website design and the use of state of the art technology like 3D and virtual reality. Mourant Ozannes has provided initial funding to purchase hardware for the Centre, which opens its doors in September.
Rory Steel said: “The support from Mourant Ozannes has enabled us to get what started as just an idea off the ground and make it a reality. The facilities we are providing at Beaulieu will plug a significant gap in providing easily accessible specialist training and education in technology. Our core aim is to fill the so-called digital divide, and we will focus on inviting local community groups and charities to come into the Centre and be up skilled across a range of areas.
“The Centre will be instrumental in demonstrating how new technology will change our lives in the near future and ensuring we are prepared for that.”
The bespoke Learning & Innovation Centre space will comprise 30 iMacs, and feature the latest technologies from Virtual Reality to 360-degree cameras. Beaulieu School is in a unique position to be able to provide this advanced Centre, as it is the first school in Europe to have super-fast gigabit Wi-Fi.
Mourant Ozannes Jersey Office Managing Partner, Jonathan Speck, said: “This is an important development for Jersey, and we are very pleased to be helping to make it a reality for the Beaulieu team. The new Beaulieu Learning & Innovation Centre will play a key role in developing the community and educating our future leaders. It will also put Jersey on the map more broadly, as this initiative is believed to be the first Centre to use gigabit connection to deliver free services to the community in the UK.”
Integrated within the School, the new Centre will be run by IT specialists, as well as students, who will be encouraged to help with and eventually run some of the sessions.
Rory Steel added: “We very much see this as an opportunity for our students to help develop their own soft skills, as well as adding to their portfolio of tangible experience that will help produce a robust CV and prepare then as valuable and effective employees in an increasingly technical workplace.”
Beaulieu expects the Centre to be completed in time for courses to start in September 2017. The team is already planning a programme of structured free support sessions for third sector organisations keen to engage and learn from Beaulieu’s extensive knowledge.
Further details about the courses can be seen at: bit.org.je