Leighton have given students from Sunderland College their first steps into the digital industry by offering them the chance to gain valuable work experience within the Leighton Group.

Three students from Sunderland College have been working within Leighton for FOOTY.COM, an e-commerce website for football fans. FOOTY.COM is a stand-alone company which steamed from Leighton’s innovation team, Leighton Labs. The students, Daniel Carrick, Joe Ditchburn and Daniel Elstob, have been on placement at Leighton throughout the summer, working as CMS data managers for FOOTY.COM.

Joe, who is studying a Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in IT at the college, said: “Footy.com has given me the unique experience and opportunity to discover what it is like to work in the IT industry. Working with the team at Footy.com has helped me expand my skills and has been a valuable experience which will help me progress with my course and career goals.”

Recently, Leighton have signed an official partnership agreement to formally mark their relationship with the college.

Lyle McCalmont, chief executive of Leighton, said: “We’re really pleased to announce our partnership with Sunderland College. It’s a great opportunity for us to be working with students in the local area and helping them to develop their skills for their chosen career path. Leighton aims to give the students at Sunderland College the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in the digital industry.”

Over the next few months, the students working within Leighton will be set live projects to incorporated into their lessons, with students then presenting their ideas to its employees.