More than 50 secondary pupils from the Glasgow region have been selected for a new regional four-year science and technology programme.

The DXC Digital Futures Academy launches this year and will introduce students to cutting-edge lessons in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

DXC Technology partnered with Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) West to open its newest academy in Glasgow.

Students from Clydeview and Vale of Leven Academies, as well as Castlehead, Renfrew, Eastwood, Woodfarm, Notre Dame, and St Peter the Apostle High Schools have been selected in the first cohort.

Students who complete the four-year programme will leave with skills and training that DYW leaders said will pave a direct path to further education, apprenticeships or directly into employment.

Read more: University looks to give girls a boost into STEM

DYW West Programme Director Bob Davidson said: “We are bridging the gap between industry and education, helping employers play an active role in preparing young people for the world of work.

“What makes the Academy unique is that it is a four-year commitment from DXC to transform the lives of these students. We are delighted that we are working together to reduce levels of youth unemployment in Scotland.”

Derek Allison, Vice President UK Public Sector at DXC, said that schools and pupils were eager to take part.

“We had extremely encouraging feedback, with 18 of the 21 schools we spoke with applying for only 8 places.

“We worked with the Head of Education for the four local councils within our partner DYW West’s remit, selecting two schools from each. From those 8 schools, we had around 130 applications for just 50 spots on the programme.”

The Herald: Students got a first look at their new tech labs with help from DXC Technology staff.Students got a first look at their new tech labs with help from DXC Technology staff. (Image: Lucy Knott)

The Glasgow Digital Futures Academy follows on from the success of DXC's first academy, launched in Manchester with support from the Manchester United Foundation and featuring a 60% female cohort.

Mr Allison said that DXC worked with schools to select a diverse group of applicants who would benefit the most from the programme.

For the students not selected in this first cohort, the Digital Futures Academy will be offering individual STEM lessons covering some of the academy’s curriculum – including virtual reality, coding, big data and professional development skills.

Read more: Apprentices are the 'spark' that industries need

Mr Allison said that DXC has committed to providing the technology and infrastructure for pupils to see out their four-year programme, including VR headsets and coding platforms and offering up the company’s Erskine offices and DXC experts for regular teaching sessions.

“We’re investing our time and resources to ensure the students are given the best possible opportunities to grow, during the four years from S2 to the end of S5.”

He added: “We aim to inspire these students so that they emerge with confidence and traits such as leadership, along with a passion for technology.

“At the end of the programme, students will not just graduate—they will have clear pathways into further education, apprenticeships, and employment, potentially at DXC.”

To launch the programme, the first cohort of students visited the DXC Erskine offices for a first look at the technology and expert teaching that will be available to them.

Graeme Dey, Scottish Minister for Higher and Further Education, said that opportunities such as the Digital Futures Academy will be important for helping prepare young people to find a place in a fast-evolving STEM workforce.

“As the world becomes more digitally connected, the Academy is an excellent opportunity for young people from the region to learn about new technologies and enhance and develop their skills relevant for all industries.”