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Tomorrows World April 25

York College takes a look at Tomorrow's World

RATE yourself as a Roblox or Minecraft expert? Then, the good news is that your skills are going to be in demand with future employers.

At York College and University Centre’s “Tomorrow’s World” event, one guest speaker also explained how you can now make an honest living from being an accomplished hacker.

A host of new jobs are emerging in industries that are developing to keep pace with technological advancements and the overriding message for our students from the industry experts that visited our Lecture Theatre was don’t be afraid to contact them asking for a work placement.

There is currently a skill shortage in construction, engineering and design industries and it’s only growing, so now is the perfect time to take advantage.

Students were also able to meet the speakers in the Atrium, where each company had an information stand.

The first half of the talk was attended by Design & Technology: Product Design students and here is a summary of the key points made by our engaging and knowledgeable panel of speakers…

Louis Deane, Founder of VISR Dynamics

Hull-based company VISR are a partner of the Yorkshire and Humber Institute of Technology – the Government-funded body that helps deliver accredited STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) courses at York College & University Centre.

Louis discussed how VISR are embracing the fast-emerging digital frontier known as the Metaverse with Virtual Reality at the forefront of their work.

He predicts that the Metaverse will transform everything we do in the workplace and at home during the next decade.

Addressing our students, Louis described how VISR are always on the lookout for talented content creators and designers and added: “You will grow up in a world where this type of technology is commonplace and we want the generation that has been creating fun worlds in Minecraft and Roblox to be part of our future as a company.”

He went on to reveal that VR is already being used for training purposes in defence, as well as the oil and gas industries, where virtual worlds are safer than real-life environments to teach and learn vital skills.

Josh Moore, Service Desk Manager at Pentest People

As part of his work for the Leeds-based penetration testing company, Josh told a fascinated audience how he can hack into any compromised network within 90 minutes and then implement the necessary cyber security steps to make it safe.

He went on to point out that Uber, Rockstar Games and Colonial Pipeline have all been hacked by social engineering methods, whilst helpfully advising everybody to avoid – without exception – choosing 123 passwords and that Password Manager should be used wherever possible.

Josh explained that cyber security is an industry offering multiple roles in areas such as malware analysis, threat intelligence and incident response, as well as penetration testing.

He added that it’s not a 9-5 job and is an industry that “requires a lot of work to get into but it does pay off”.

Josh also advised that anybody interested in a cyber security career should “make contacts and put together a portfolio showcasing your skills”, declaring that “the key to being successful in this industry is trying to keep up with the industry”.

He finished by recommending the following Twitter accounts @LeedsEHS; @_dc151; @TheBeerFarmers and @BSidesLeeds.

Pentest People offer apprenticeships and can be contacted by emailing

You can also study a Foundation Degree (FD) in Digital Technology (Cybersecurity) at York College & University Centre with more information available here

Andy Callaghan, Founder of Jammed

Andy is a York-based entrepreneur whose company operates an online booking platform for music studios and rehearsal rooms around the world.

He is working with 51 studios in nine different countries (the UK, India, Norway, Sweden, Spain, New Zealand, USA, Canada and Belgium) and has taken £1million worth of bookings with producers and representatives of bands like The Strokes and Rush amongst his clients.

A freelance programmer and drummer too, Andy discussed how he now relies on Generative AI chatbot ChatGPT to help him answer sign-up emails, freeing him up to focus on other duties related to his business.

On the growth of ChatGPT in life and the workplace, he said: “It is going to be the norm for the next generation. It will be huge in areas such as customer support.”

His best piece of advice, meanwhile, was “Don’t give up.”

The second batch of talks was delivered to Construction and Engineering students and featured the following guest speakers…

Mike Jaconelli, HSQE Manager at Simpson (York) Ltd

In his work for the local construction and fit-out specialists, Mike spoke of how the industry is embracing challenges to help save the environment.

The building and construction sector is responsible for 39 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions and he forecasts that “buildings in the future will no longer be single-use premises” and that the materials used will need to be like “Lego blocks” that can be broken up and recycled.

Addressing our students, Mike said: “We need people with financially creative mindsets, including buyers, estimators, surveyors, designers and IT and software engineers. You are lucky because there is a skill shortage in the industry, and we are reaching out to everyone with an interest.

“We also need a diverse workforce from different backgrounds and nobody should feel held back. Engineering is such a broad subject and the only way to test out what you like and don’t like is to get work placements and industry experience - without that, it’s very hard to make that decision.

“Also be as innovative, creative and entrepreneurial as possible and be open to working for different-sized businesses - small as well as big.”

Chris Martin, Chartered Engineer in the design team for York-based Martin Design Associates

Chris talked about how the way we construct buildings is changing to become more sustainable.

“In 10 years, nobody will be constructing buildings with bricks on the outside and our role, as engineers, is to adapt to that change and have our influence on global warming,” he pointed out.

He added that triple-glazed windows, that are more energy efficient, will be the norm in five years’ time and his career advice was to “find something that floats your boat and research it on the internet. It’s not an easy industry, but hard work and application can lead to a career that will give you a great deal of enjoyment”.

Biochemist Joe Bennett, Lead Technologist at Biovale York

Joe discussed the importance of research into converting plants, microbes and biowastes into valuable products such as food and energy.

He explained the multi-purpose nature of some plants such as seaweed, which can be used as food, fertiliser and to inhibit cancer cell growth.

Joe also pointed out the medicinal value of hemp and how it can be used in the body work of cars too.

He even revealed how Unilever, who used to feed their ice cream waste to pigs, are now using extracts in their washing powder products Persil and Surf.

Joe went on to recommend: “Don’t be afraid to approach companies with an email even if it’s just to have a look around their business if you can’t get a placement.”

Mark Danter, Senior Strategy Manager at Northern Gas Networks

Mark spoke about the tens of thousands of new jobs that will be created should hydrogen replace natural gas to fuel our homes and workplaces.

Northern Gas Networks are currently participating in trials that test a 20 per cent blend of hydrogen in existing gas networks to power household boilers, radiators, ovens and fires.

The Government are set to make a decision on whether hydrogen fuel should be rolled out across the country later this decade with Mark explaining: “A skilled workforce will be needed in this new industry, and it will create jobs, provide investment into the area and contribute to levelling up.”

He added that gas safe engineers will need to be upskilled and construction work will be needed on new gas mains, while designers and planners will be in demand, as will anybody who can manufacture prototypes.

Maria Garcia, CEO of BindEthics

Maria talked about the adhesive she has developed from food waste that is sustainable, non-toxic and not derived from fossil fuels.

She described how formaldeyhde-based adhesives can be found in 90 per cent of wooden products and that they are one of the top-five greatest indoor pollutants.

Furthermore, such products can’t be burned and have to go to landfill.

Maria’s adhesive is ready to go to market and her company already has a £10million valuation.

She met her current business partner when he was employed as an intern for the company they were both working for at the time and she added: “I am always looking for driven and enthusiastic people so, if that’s you, please send me an email at with your CV and interests.”