From education to employment

Career Colleges students to provide digital solution for charity

Students from four Career Colleges are being given the exciting opportunity to work on a live digital project in support of Comic Relief’s Sport Relief 2018 campaign. 

The initiative is being run with AWS, the cloud computing part of Amazon and Comic Relief. 800 technology students from Career Colleges at Barking & Dagenham College , BMet, Harrow College and Westminster Kingsway will be taking part, getting hands on industry experience, while supporting the major UK charity.

Students have been tasked to develop a solution within the digital space to engage 16-24 year olds with Sport Relief 2018. The aim is to make the charity relevant to young people and secure their future support. The Career College students will be using a range of digital channels such as social media and online video content to bring the Sport Relief campaign to their generation.

800 students will compete to have three solutions selected and 60 will then be selected to develop the winning three solutions. The Career Colleges Trust will unveil the project brief to the students, at AWS’ offices in London in January. During the three-hour session, students will have the opportunity to hear from Amazon employees and partners to learn more about some of the latest cloud technologies available to build their applications. 

The live brief will be managed and run in exactly the same way as a commercial new business project. Students will have two update calls with the Project Board, focusing on design, finance, and the project plan. The Career Colleges Trust, Comic Relief and AWS will sit on the project board.  

Digital Lead for the Career Colleges Trust, Julia Von Klonowski, says:

 “Following a very successful project we ran last year with AWS, I am delighted to be offering this opportunity to our digital Career Colleges students.

 “Career Colleges are all about exposing young people to the real world of work. This project will increase our students’ awareness of the digital industry and the many exciting roles on offer – as well as supporting a very important cause.

“This country is facing a huge national skills gap in technology. Employer-led projects like this are absolutely essential if we are to give young people the hands on experience they need to succeed in their careers – and to become the future’s digital experts.”

Career College students gain technical and vocational skills alongside academic qualifications. The focus is on helping young people to achieve a career rather than only facilitating the skills for their first job. The Career Colleges Trust makes certain students develop a range of employability skills including business and digital etiquette, critical thinking, the ability to communicate effectively and adaptability.


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

 “We are excited to once again support the Career Colleges Trust, which aims to inspire the next generation of digital technology experts in the UK.

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

“We know how talented and creative the students are and we can’t wait to see what innovative ideas they develop to support Comic Relief.” 

Head of Youth Engagement and Fundraising for Comic Relief, Val Pumfrey, says:

 “We are always looking for new ways to engage young people with Comic Relief – to connect, empower and inspire them to take action.”

“Young people are full of creative ideas and enthusiasm. We are delighted to be working with Career College students. I have no doubt that they will come up with some amazing digital solutions for Sport Relief 2018, which will be of real value to our work.”

Students will have to cost the whole project out, breaking it down into labour costs, expenses, materials, etc.

The project will run over an eight-week period, and students will be working in groups. 

In March, students will present their project plans and ideas to ‘the Board’, which will include representatives from Comic Relief, the Career Colleges Trust and AWS. The presentations will showcase the digital solutions they have developed as well as explanations of the final budget, research and testing, and learnings that students have made throughout the project.

 The three winning projects will be awarded prizes.

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