NEW College's new academy offering IT training and apprenticeships launched last week.

The risual Microsoft Academy is the only one of its kind in Wiltshire and has been developed in partnership with Microsoft and risual Education.

48 people attended the launch evening, including employees, guests and staff from New College, risual, Microsoft, Nationwide, Bath Spa University, Great Western Hospital and the University of Gloucestershire.

Amanda Walton is New College's head of marketing and customer services. She was very excited about the new academy.

She said: "It went really well, it was a very successful and interesting evening.

"The event was an opportunity to showcase this fantastic new academy we are launching."

The academy is aimed at adults and 16-to-18-year-olds.

It will offer a range of apprenticeships including software development and infrastructure technician, and other IT training and digital learning classes.

The courses are linked to industry-recognised qualifications and students will used the latest Microsoft technology during their studies.

Amanda added: "It's also quite a timely, the academy is tailored specifically to meet employer needs with regards to improving the digital skills of their organisations.

"We already have some students interested in applying for apprenticeships there."

Principal of New College Graham Taylor was one of the speakers at the event.

He explained: "“The key aims of the Academy are to boost IT skills, increase the number of IT learners and improve the quality and relevance of IT training.

“This will involve working closely with businesses and universities and building on the raft of IT qualifications, including apprenticeships that we already run.”

The education section of business consultancy and management services company risual works closely with Microsoft to provide businesses and schools with industry-leading apprenticeship schemes.