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Lancashire technology consultancy Sundown Solutions and Nelson and Colne College have formed a strategic partnership to develop the next generation of cyber security and high tech experts.

Following a recent visit to local schools and presenting at the Amazing Accrington Education Summit highlighting the need for digital skills training in the local area, the new partnership was struck between Sundown Solutions and the Nelson and Colne College Group, which also incorporates Accrington and Rossendale College.

The innovative partnership supports developing industry-relevant and employment-ready skills for learners on the Digital T Level, which follow on from GCSEs, and are equivalent to three A-Levels.

The joint initiative will also prepare learners for progression into careers in software development.

The two-year courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so students will meet the needs of the industry – crucial in non-traditional areas such as software development and cyber security.

Sundown Solutions’ chief executive officer, Heath Groves, said, “The need for digital skills in the future workforce is ever-increasing, and the market for skilled cyber security experts is growing exponentially.”

Heath recently joined the Amazing Accrington business leader’s group to encourage interaction between businesses like his and education providers to ensure young people have the skills needed to develop a career in technology.

Heath, an Amazing Accrington Apprenticeship Ambassador, is passionate about highlighting different career paths to achieving a high flying career, not necessarily involving going to university.  He added, “It’s an exciting partnership as Sundown will host the learners, and our team of experts will personally train the recruits in the skills required for this field of work.

“We’re rapidly expanding and recruiting interns and apprentices of all ages, not just school leavers. The agreement to provide the new T Level will ensure that local people will have the opportunity to train and get the skills required to work at the highest level of digital technology. People need to know that these opportunities exist in Hyndburn. Going into St Christopher’s directly helped us, as we recruited two young people on the day.”

Amanda Melton, College Principal and CEO, added, “The introduction of T Levels has provided a new pathway for non-traditional industries to train people with the exact skills they need in their field. We’re delighted to partner with Sundown Solutions to provide the first Digital T Levels in the area and look forward to having a steady stream of qualified, skilled people employed in digital jobs.”

The new Digital T Levels commence in September 2021. You can find out more and apply on the Nelson and Colne College website:

 Sundown Solutions is an award-winning technology consultancy that counts the NHS, National Audit Office, RNIB, College of Police and the World Health Organisation as clients and is actively recruiting. To find out more about the company and how it helps organisations make technology work for them, visit: