The Duke of York visited East London on 2nd October, 2014 and made two visits to important institutions leading the preparation of the local workforce.
The first visit was to open the new iCreate@BDC facility – a digital media hub – at Barking and Dagenham College.
The Duke greeted by the Mayor, Councillor Elizabeth Kangethe and College Principal, Ms Cathy Walsh and was given a tour around the College’s facilities including the Gazelle Science Technology Engineering & Maths (STEM) Centre. The STEM Centre uses fun and interactive activities to showcase the careers which depend on science, technology, engineering and maths skills. The Duke observed STEM education projects underway with children from the nearby Rush Green Primary School.
HRH then toured the iCreate@BDC Space where he met students working on animation, online games development, and video production.
Barking and Dagenham is preparing to celebrate 50 years since its formation and The Duke discussed the anniversary with the Borough Council’s Leader and heard about the events they are planning to mark that occasion.
HRH later said “From what I have seen today, this is a borough that is going places.”
The Duke met with finalists from HRH’s latest initiative: the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA). iDEA has been piloted at selected colleges, including Barking and Dagenham. The Duke was shown their project “Student Pad”, a smart phone app which provides students with all their essential course information at their fingertips, including their timetable, assignments, and exam results.
The second visit of the day was to the Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME). CEME is a research, business support, skills and education campus located in East London with a focus on supporting the engineering, manufacturing and technology sectors and HRH became Patron in November, 2013.
First, HRH meet staff and students at the newly opened University Technical College for East London and Essex (Elutec). Elutec is providing young people, who wish to specialise in engineering and design, with an academic, technical and vocational education.
The Duke visited technology classrooms and spoke to Year 10 and 12 students about the projects they had been working on. Two students demonstrated their model of the National Grid that lit a light bulb. They said: “It was exciting and a privilege to meet The Duke of York. He was interested in what we were doing.”
Later The Duke addressed and assembly of the UTC’s students, telling them: “We have in our grasp future engineers. The amount of work I see going on around the country and this locality to support what you do is impressive; I would like to wish you and the staff every success in your future endeavours.”