The college has this year launched its pioneering Esports course, with learners working towards an Advanced Level Diploma in Esports - the fastest growing entertainment industry in the world.
Combining dexterity, focus, analytical skills and problem solving, Esports experts are actively recruited by some of the world’s leading technology-driven organisations such as the Royal Airforce, BAE and Emirates.
Specialist tutors on the popular course ensure students develop an in-depth knowledge and skills in every aspect of managing a successful Esports team - including business strategy, marketing, design, event planning, video production and editing, journalism and “shoutcasting” – when fans live stream their own commentary over the internet.
The course places a focus on the multiple pathways into this cutting-edge industry available to students and puts the emphasis on careers and transferable skills – skills which are in high demand.
The college has also formed its own competitive Esports team – BEES (Burnley Elite Esports).
Now the Bees have officially become a feeder team for Burnley FC’s already well-established group of players – and together have formed the Elite Esports Athlete Programme. The partnership sees the college’s logo on the Burnley Pro Esports shirts and vice-versa and gives the most talented players the chance to play for the Burnley Esports team.
Ed Foulds, curriculum leader in Esports, says it puts Burnley College at the vanguard of this competitive industry.
He said: “We are proud to announce this exciting and innovative relationship with Burnley FC and become the first college in the country to form a link with a professional football club.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for our students to be playing for the Burnley Esports Academy teams. We now have the opportunity to share our expertise, our cutting-edge equipment and technology with the elite of the industry.”
Burnley FC’s head of Esports Steve Hawthorn says the project is one of the most exciting he’s worked on.
“It’s great to have a Premier League football club partner with their local college. Burnley College demonstrates that thirst to innovate and put technology at the forefront of everything they do," he said.
The Esports industry has grown massively over the last decade and is expected to return $2 billion plus turnover in the coming years.
Karen Buchanan, principal of Burnley College Sixth Form Centre, added: “As always, Burnley College is leading the way nationally and we’re excited to be at the vanguard of the development and delivery of Esports courses.
“This course is so much more than simply playing computer games. Students acquire a raft of valuable, transferable skills valued by employers in a range of industries, such as focus, innovation, communication skills, mental and manual agility and teamwork.
“We are sure that, in the years to come, alumni of Burnley College will be recognised as leaders in the world of Esports, whether that’s as competitive players, securing top salaries, or in the realms of high-level management and coaching.”