The £80,000 funding comes from Jisc, a charity which champions the increased use of digital technologies in UK education and research, and will be split equally between the college and project partner Middlesbrough College.
Thanks to the cash boost, students will be able to work to develop materials with ‘augmented reality’, where items such as posters or CVs have embedded links to interactive material including videos and graphics.
Helen Richardson, learning innovation manager at Gateshead College, said: “We’re excited to receive this funding from Jisc, which we are sharing with Middlesbrough College after a successful joint bid.
“It will fund a year-long project to provide 60 days of paid employment for students working to produce interactive materials for digital companies across the region.
“We’ll be building up links in particular with two local companies, who will be using these augmented reality materials to help with their recruitment – using them to highlight particular skills they need – and also with training.”
As a member of the Gazelle Colleges Group, Gateshead College is focused on employability, enterprise and entrepreneurship for its students.
Bob Bell at the Jisc Regional Support Centre in Sunderland is delighted the joint bid from Gateshead and Middlesbrough Colleges has been successful.
He said: “This funding will resource the development of augmented reality materials to improve learner employability in both colleges. The bid was highly commended and resulted in one of the largest funding allocations made in this Jisc round.
“North East colleges created a very strong impression in this Jisc round and altogether they achieved funding valued at three times the level which might have been expected on a pro rata basis."
Judith Doyle, principal and chief executive of Gateshead College, said the move will help to give students hands-on experience of working in the rapidly-evolving digital arena, equipping them with skills that will be of relevance and benefit in the job market.
“We’re sure the students will have plenty of innovative ideas and skills to offer to the companies, too,” she said.
“As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the North East, we are proud of the benefits our strong links with employers and industry bring to our student learning.
“We work in partnership with hundreds of regional employers to ensure that the students leave us with the skills needed by employers and for a successful career path in today’s competitive workplace.”