From education to employment

Young people’s issues highlighted through creative partnership with BMet and Aston Villa FC charity

Societal issues affecting young people were brought to life creatively through an innovative partnership with BMet and Aston Villa FC charity this week.

Visual Communications students from BMet’s Sutton Coldfield College were given the unique opportunity to produce youth-focused videos and associated marketing for Aston Villa Foundation – the charitable arm of Aston Villa Football Club.

To showcase their ideas and work, students were invited to Villa Park to present their final pieces to key members of the charity in teams, as part of a three-month industrial placement.

The brief was to use media techniques to reflect current issues by providing information, advice and guidance for young people of all genres and ethnic backgrounds across Birmingham – priority areas being Erdington, Ladywood and Perry Barr.

Themes around drugs and alcohol, inequality, bullying, gangs, mental health and youth unemployment were explored and portrayed through the student presentations.

The learners’ work will be used to produce captivating and impactful content to be used in Aston Villa Foundation’s ‘Kicks’ sessions – a community-based football programme for young people in Birmingham, who attend weekly football sessions and personal development activities.

Speaking of their experiences, the students expressed the following:

Dan, who focused on drugs and alcohol for his work: “It was an invaluable opportunity to be involved in such a professional and worthwhile project, which doesn’t come around very often.

“It was so different to other work I have done. It was great to work alongside a well-known and respected client and even better for me, I have been a huge Aston Villa supporter since I was a child!”

Katie, who explored mental health: “I found it very rewarding to work on such an important subject, that I and many young people can relate to.

“It was great to raise awareness of the issue, that is not always taught in schools and which I believe needs to continue to be at the forefront of people’s minds. I particularly liked creating my own anime characters in my work also.”

Kaylern, who showcased gang culture and youth crime: “I feel very proud of what I achieved and am happy with the positive comments that I received from not only BMet, but also from key players within Aston Villa Foundation.

“It made me feel quite emotional, as I am so passionate about bringing these themes to the public sphere and hope what I did was educational.”

Students received positive feedback from Aston Villa Foundation and the charity plans to use their creations to further emphasise important issues that are of huge significance to young people across Birmingham.

Pete Ezard, Partnerships Manager at Aston Villa Foundation said: “Once again, the opportunity to work with BMet students has proved worthwhile.

“The quality of the videos produced focusing on local societal issues was of high standard and will enable us to present them across our Interventions programmes.”

BMet partners with Aston Villa Foundation and other local businesses to facilitate mutually beneficial gateways, that will help students gain invaluable experiences, knowledge and skills within industry placements, that are designed to propel career progression.

Speaking of the innovative student placement, Simon Gordon, Department Manager for Art and Design at BMet said: “It was a phenomenal opening for our students to work with a real and exciting client on a subject matter that is very relevant to people their age.

“I am delighted that not only will the students work go a huge way to inspiring their aspirations and dreams, but it will also help with the invaluable ‘Kicks’ sessions for young people like them!”

To find out more about BMet’s work with employers, please see BMet’s website.

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