From education to employment

Project shows creative industry is thriving in the North West

The Ideas Foundation have teamed up with Mid Cheshire College, to deliver Media and Creative Diplomas for 14-19 year olds and to coordinate the project through the college’s Creative Industries Support Services (CRISP). They will pilot two projects in the North West to identify the challenges of work based learning ahead of the implementation of the 14-19 Creative and Media Diplomas in September 2008.

Students in the North West are amongst the first in the country to be part of the project launched to tackle the provision of industrial experience in rural areas ahead of 14-19 Diplomas being rolled out next year.

Skillset challenged the Ideas Foundation to show that students in rural areas could be introduced into creative industries when the industry is heavily concentrated in the capital.

Top advertising guru Robin Wight, who has been declared “Advertising Personality of the Year” and runs the global ad agency The Engine, has been recruited by the Foundation and Sir Mike Tomlinson has given his support to the Foundation.

Associate Director of the Ideas Foundation David Holloway OBE approached Mid Cheshire College’s Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) in New Media to offer training to a hand picked group of lucky creative arts students from Rudheath High School with funding from the University of Chester’s Aim Higher scheme.

CoVE project manager Deborah Davidson said: “We are keen to stress that this experience will give them not only an insight into the creative and technical demand of the industry, but also the experience of working to tight deadlines, understanding target markets and project management skills, which are all just as vital to the successful designer as creative skills.”

During the North West pilot industry placements were found successfully in Manchester, Liverpool and other locations around Cheshire for all sixteen Year 10 students who participated proving critics wrong.

In the final stage of the project, youngsters headed out across Cheshire, Manchester and Liverpool to work with designers from a range of top agencies for placements which were co-coordinated through the high level employer links of CoVE.

Students had the opportunity to work with designers responsible for major brand campaigns including Peugeot, Durex, Gordon Ramsey’s chocolate collection and have been told by employers that they can expect to see the fruits of their labour on screens and in high streets within six months.

David Holloway added: “The pilot projects have proved invaluable. The North West now has hard experience that can be further developed that will inform its Creative and Media Diploma Gateway.”

Chris Mitchell

Related Articles