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Career Colleges Students tackle youth violence in ‘the cloud’

Students from Barking & Dagenham College undertaking an 8-week digital challenge set by Amazon Web Services to help address youth violence and tackle knife crime - Joe Maya front row, far right

78 students from four Digital Career Colleges around the country are undertaking an 8-week digital challenge set by Amazon Web Services (AWS) to help address youth violence and tackle knife crime.

The 16-20 year-olds, including 18 students from Barking & Dagenham College, were briefed on their exciting challenge at AWS HQ in London.  The ‘live’ project is being run by the Career Colleges Trust together with AWS for the fourth year running.

This year, new partners include The Prince’s Trust and the BBC. Representatives from London Sport, Marylebone Cricket Club (Lords) and UK Active are also on the judging panel.

During the project briefing session, the challenge was revealed. The students must come up with a solution that will help to tackle and overcome the issue of knife crime and youth violence by using digital technology in a positive way.

The project’s judging panel introduced themselves to the students, offering some insightful talks.

Project Lead for Youth Violence at the Prince’s Trust, Helen O’ Connor, said:

 “The Prince’s Trust is delighted to be working with our partner AWS on the Careers College Digital Project. It is a brilliant opportunity for young people to develop confidence and skills for their futures, as well as have their voices heard on issues that affect their lives such as overcoming youth violence.”

Students will be working in groups of six on one of three briefs. These briefs were chosen from over 500 ideas submitted in the first stage of the project. 

The ‘live’ task must be managed and run in the same way as any other real industry project. Students will have two project meetings and a Product Design workshop with the client during the eight weeks, focusing on design, finance and the project plan.

The student teams will return to AWS’ offices in March to present their solutions to the panel of judges, with a range of prizes to be awarded to the winning projects.

Chris Hayman, Head of UK & I Public Sector, Amazon Web Services, said:

“We are proud to support the Career Colleges Trust and its students for a fourth year, with the aim of inspiring the next generation of digital technology experts in the UK.

“Introducing young people to the latest and most innovative cloud technologies is critical for both today’s workforce and the workforce of the future.

“We know from the previous three years just how talented and creative Career College students are and we can’t wait to see what innovative ideas they develop to support charities such as The Princes Trust in tackling problems that are affecting communities across the UK.”

Students attending the event were extremely enthusiastic about their experience.

Joe Maya (18) is from Dagenham and studying IT at Barking & Dagenham College. He said:

“I love gaming and my dream is to be a computer game designer. I want to get experience of working in a team and improve my presentation skills, so this project is perfect for me.”

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