Walton-le-Dale PlayStation VR pioneer leads training academy for next generation of developers

Posted on - 1st June, 2021 - 8:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Education, Preston News, South Ribble News, Walton-le-Dale
Simon Benson

The co-founder of the PlayStation VR project is spearheading the training programme at the first Unity Centre of Excellence in the UK at innovation hub HOST, the Home of Skills & Technology in MediaCityUK.


Simon Benson, from Walton-le-Dale, is HOST’s director of immersive technology and was previously director of Sony’s Immersive Technology Group, where he was a founder member of the PlayStation VR project and supported all of its VR launch titles.

This follows the announcement of HOST’s partnership with Unity, the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content.

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The Unity Centre of Excellence at HOST, operated by IN4.0 Group and run by Blackburn entrepreneur Mo Isap, is launching the only academy in the UK where learners will receive unrivalled certified training directly from Unity’s professional instructors.

With a career in VR, AR and interactive entertainment spanning over 25 years, Simon is perfectly placed to support future innovators with the mentorship, partners and technology they need to disrupt the RT3D world.

The programme is for recent graduates, career changers or those looking to upskill as a Unity developer, and it is due to start on 21 June. Applications are now open with limited places available.

VR headset

The academy offers a 12-week remote learning course to equip students with the technical and soft skills they need to accelerate a career in tech as a Unity Certified Professional Programmer.

The programme includes real-life industry projects with leading partners from advanced manufacturing, architectural engineering, health and creative media. 

Learners will also receive personal mentoring and dedicated career support, alongside employability workshops and CV assessments, with a commitment of a guaranteed job interview once they have successfully completed and qualified from the course.

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Simon said: “With Unity’s UK Centre of Excellence as an integral component of HOST’s capabilities, we are ideally placed to lead the immersive and interactive revolution that is already influencing many industries such as video gaming, architecture, healthcare and manufacturing.

“Establishing Unity’s UK Centre of Excellence at HOST brings a fantastic blend of high demand skills generation, cutting edge innovation and unparalleled business support, ensuring that MediaCityUK is the only place to be if you’re in the real-time development space.”

For more information and to apply for the first training programme at the Unity Centre of Excellence Academy, visit here.

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