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HOST and Digital Catapult launch Immex City Immersive Technologies Skills Programme

A pioneering, free to access, immersive technologies programme will help Gateshead residents to develop the most in-demand digital skills and fast-track them into technology careers in this growing sector.

Innovation hub HOST, the Home of Skills & Technology, and Digital Catapult North East Tees Valley are launching the Immex City Immersive Technologies Skills Programme at PROTO, the first digital production facility of its kind in Europe, and the Northern Design Centre in Baltic Quays.

Based at MediaCity in Salford and operated by IN4 Group, HOST is home to the only Unity Centre of Excellence in the UK as it expands its operations to the North East of England.

HOST, in partnership with Target3D, is delivering the unique 6-week programme to support learners with gaining skills across a broad spectrum of immersive tools and technologies, including Unity and Unreal Game Engines.

The programme includes learning sessions, mentoring, hands-on workshops, networking and the opportunity to meet prospective employers, so they are inspired to pursue a career in the immersive industries.

The full-time programme explores skills in immersive technologies, software management, games engine development, virtual production, soft skills, personal development and workplace readiness.

In 2021, the UK video games market hit a record high of £7.16 billion and the sales of virtual reality hardware also saw significant growth, with headset sales rising by 42 per cent to £183 million as society is continuing to embrace new technologies.

“It’s fantastic to be working in collaboration with Digital Catapult to bring this unique programme to life, boosting jobs and skills in immersive technologies across the region. Alongside our fellow partners including tech giant Unity, the largest immersive development platform in the world, we plan to help even more people in the North forge careers in the digital tech industries,” said Simon Benson, Head of Immersive Technologies at HOST.

Alex Cook, Immex City Programme Lead, Digital Catapult NETV, said: “The Immex City Immersive Skills pilot is a really exciting opportunity for local people to learn skills that will help them to find opportunities in our growing immersive sector. We’re delighted to be working with HOST to deliver this unique programme as they have a track record of delivering fantastic skills programmes. Through this UK Community Renewal Funded pilot, participants will learn game engine development, virtual production skills and be supported with career advice to help them find work in the sector.”

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The Immex City team L-r: Rachel Birtwistle and Arun Kumar from HOST, Alex Cook of Digital Catapult, Simon Benson from HOST and Maddalena Crosti of Digital Catapult.

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Link to download hi-res images: Image descriptions: The Immex City team L-r: Rachel Birtwistle and Arun Kumar from HOST, Alex Cook of Digital Catapult, Simon Benson from HOST and Maddalena Crosti of Digital Catapult. For further information, contact: Jen Lau HOST and IN4 Group 07531 945157 [email protected] About HOST HOST, the Home of Skills & Technology, operated by IN4 Group, is an innovation hub at the heart of MediaCity. Formerly known as The Landing, it is an inclusive community of innovators in data analytics, cybersecurity, AI and immersive technology. With five floors of labs, R&D and prototyping environments, HOST offers specialist support, affordable workspace, training and social spaces for people and businesses to start up, scale up and connect. HOST is a part of Salford’s Innovation Triangle, and sits alongside Salford Royal Foundation Trust, with its global innovation factory; Salford University, the fastest-growing university in the North West; and MediaCity, the media and technology destination that’s home to 250 creative and digital businesses. Twitter: @HOSTSalford LinkedIn: HOSTSalford Instagram: HOST_Salford Facebook: HOSTSalford About IN4 Group IN4 Group is a skills, innovation and start-up services provider that specialises in supporting businesses with the training, communities, networks, and advice they need to scale and enhance their innovation ecosystems. Its mission is to establish the UK as the place for pioneers in the fourth industrial revolution alongside its world-class industry partners with people, place and community at its core. IN4 operates HOST, MediaCity and has an office at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston. Twitter: @IN4_Group LinkedIn: IN4 Group

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Jen Lau

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HOST and IN4 Group

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