Esports education centre opens at the Beacon of Light – Foundation of Light

Beacon of Light is set to welcome the next generation of digital experts through its doors following the opening of Foundation of Light’s new esports centre.
Foundation of Light is championing the need to support and develop young people’s skills in this ever-growing industry sector and thanks to significant investment from North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East LEP) through its Local Growth Fund VCSE Capital Grant programme, the Foundation will be helping the digital sector contribute towards supporting young people and the skills required to become more work ready.
Esports is a hugely popular recreational activity that also offers many job and career opportunities. The new esports centre at the Beacon of Light will use digital education to create pathways for young people seeking careers in esports and other closely linked digital industries as well as creating a wealth of esports careers advice too.
Beacon of Light’s newest addition hosts eight dedicated areas, complete with esports furniture, esports management software and more.
Making all this possible is North EAST LEP – a public, private and education sector partnership. Responsible for promoting and developing economic growth throughout the region, they also produce Sunderland’s Strategic Plan, which acts as a blueprint for the activities that need to take place to improve our economy.
Nicola Laverick, North East LEP Investment Programme Manager, officially opened the esports centre on Wednesday. Sharing her thoughts on the esports centre and what this means for the region’s young people, she said: “Helping young people develop skills in emerging sectors like esports will help us to build our region’s economy and create a stronger, more sustainable North East for everyone. We’re looking forward to seeing the new education centre in action and following the progress of the young people who will be training here.”
There are currently 10,000 NEET young people in Sunderland alone, with employers having already disclosed a lack of skills possessed by local people to meet industry needs.
National statistics recently released indicate that 700,000 young people have now left education and are looking for jobs and there are already 250,000 unemployed up to the age of 25.
Lesley Spuhler, Foundation of Light Chief Executive added: “We realise that esports is a growing industry and we are eager to provide more opportunities for our young people, which will then hopefully develop into a qualification or even a career in the industry, whilst also promoting a balanced and healthy lifestyle.”
Providing training in a new world of work area will engage some of the hardest to reach young people through an activity they enjoy. Through this, the Foundation will support young people to develop their skills by working with Innovation Esports and Sunderland College to provide workshops in subjects including Gaming Journalism, Video Production, Coding, Press, Marketing and Social Content. Foundation of Light are also very excited to work closely with British Esports when the centre for excellence opens on Stadium Park.
For more information about the Foundation of Light and the programmes we deliver, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or to keep up with all the latest news, head over to our website.
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On 30 July 1997, Sunderland AFC graced the Stadium of Light pitch for the first time, welcoming Dutch giants Ajax to Wearside.
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