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Calderdale College students help Bradford tech company expand business portfolio

Five Digital T Level students have completed industry placements at Bradford-based company, Impact Gamers, helping it to scale up and take on more work.

Impact Gamers is a community-interest company, which aims to inspire young people away from just game playing to game making, through a variety of lessons, workshops and mentoring. The company took on our students to help them gain valuable digital skills.

Adam Syrop, director at Impact Gamers, said: “I was initially weary about taking on students as I didn’t know how much they’d be able to contribute, but after meeting with some of them and hearing about their aims and passions, it became a no brainer and I agreed to take five on.

“Four of the students worked on the software and games design side of things, with one working on hardware and networking. The students proved hugely beneficial to our business and all of them were working on live projects within a couple of weeks of joining us.

This meant that we were able to start taking on larger contracts and fulfil our work commitments more rapidly as the students acted as an effective extension of our team.

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“Having the students working with us was a brilliant experience and the students’ attitude was fantastic. Not only were they all hungry to gain experience, but they were all immediately invested in our organisation and wanted to help us achieve our ambitions.

“They were able to quickly lead projects and manage problems effectively, and whilst we provided them with on-the-job support, they also taught us lots of new things along the way too.

“T Level placements will now become integral to how we operate going forward, and taking on placement students will allow us to increase our capacity and have a much bigger impact on the local communities we work with.”

The placement will count towards the 315 hours work experience the students’ need to complete as part of the two-year long Digital T Level.

Speaking about his experience on placement at Impact Gamers, T Level student Charlie, said: “Being on placement at Impact Gamers gave me a taste of what my future career could look like and what it’s like to work in a team. I was able to develop my coding skills and gained valuable experience that I’ll use in my future career.”

Fellow placement student, Jacob, added: “I spent a lot of time testing laptops to see if they were up to standard, and updating software and hardware to fix those that weren’t. The placement gave me lots of experience and skills, which will help me forge a career in the tech industry. Completing placements like this will also give me a competitive edge over other students when it comes to applying for jobs when I finish my course, as I will have a wealth of real-life work experience.”

Amy, who also completed a placement at Impact Gamers, concluded: “I carried out a lot of different projects on my placement at Impact Gamers. One involved working on a project for a local primary school where the students were tasked with imagining what they would change about an area so we could bring their visions to life in a game.

“It’s been great to learn more about the industry I want to work in, and my programming and HTML skills have improved massively.”

T Levels are the newest qualification for 16–18-year-olds, designed by the Government in collaboration with 250 major businesses. The two-year courses are equivalent to three A Levels, and combine in-college learning with real-life work experience to provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to go on to secure employment after their studies.