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College students take on employer-led ‘creative challenge’

College students take on employer-led ‘creative challenge’

Over 100 students from ten FE colleges & Institutes of Technology (IoT) got creative this month, participating in a national challenge led by the CyberHub Trust, with support from digital and creative employers.

The 16–18-year-olds were asked to develop creative ideas to market The CyberHub Trust (a charity which promotes the education & training of cyber and cloud technologies) and for cyber security in general. Solutions had to be appropriate for the target audience (young people) and focus on ways to communicate via social and other media channels.

The second annual `Creative Challenge’ attracted entries from Barking & Dagenham IoT, Birmingham Metropolitan College, Hugh Baird College, and Activate Learning’s Oxford/Banbury & Bicester Colleges – from students studying a range of disciplines, including Graphic Design, Video & Film, e-Gaming, Retail & Promotion and Fashion.

Ideas were submitted and reviewed by a panel of industry experts, including Amit Patel (CEO Experience Haus), Garth Jemmett (CEO `We Explain Stuff’), and Kristin Ellingson (Filmmaker & Creative Director of an e-Gaming company in Los Angeles).

Around 30 students were selected to go through to the last round of the challenge, at an event which took place at the Shoreditch offices of Design company, Experience Haus.

Students spent the day working alongside professional creative designers, as well as their tutors and some of judges. They were able to discuss their concepts, take on board constructive feedback and then revise/improve their submissions.

The students then presented their final concepts to the entire group.

The final submissions will be used by The CyberHub Trust in its social media campaigns and on its website, providing the students with `real world’ material for their portfolios.

Michael Klonowski, CEO of The CyberHub Trust, said:

“This has been such a valuable experience for these creative students – and we are hugely grateful to the supportive employers who made it possible. The day was exciting yet relaxed, giving the young people first-hand exposure to a real-life working environment.

“The students learned how to accept, and work with, constructive criticism – which is something design professionals do on a daily basis. The grit and flexibility of our young talent was impressive, and I have no doubt they could all go on to have successful careers. Projects like this are a fantastic way to engage with students, colleges, and employers, and we look forward to running many more like it.”

Amit Patel, Creative Director of product design experts, Experience Haus, said:

“As the Creative Director of a design education provider, I cannot stress enough the importance of providing opportunities for young people to gain experience and insights into the design field.

“Investing time and resources into nurturing young talent not only benefits the individual, but also has significant advantages for the business itself. By providing opportunities for young designers to gain experience and hone their skills, we are investing in the future of our industry. By fostering this talent, we are able to cultivate teams of skilled & passionate designers who bring fresh perspectives and new ideas to our work. We look forward to the next challenge!”

Garth Jemmett, Director of Communications Consultancy, We Explain Stuff said:

“The application of design and strategic thinking solves real world problems, which certainly includes cybercrime. It was an absolute privilege to work with these talented students.

“Hearing them explain the motivation for what they presented was fantastic and I enjoyed helping them to refine their thinking for the ‘real world’. This experience will stand these students in great stead for the future and is something I wish I had experienced when I started my career.”

The talented group of students enhanced their experience with a guided walk around Shoreditch, seeing some amazing, creative artwork painted on the sides of buildings by Graffiti artists, some on behalf of clients. This demonstrated to the students how their own designs could potentially end up as a 50-foot graphic on the side of a building!

Games Art student, Ben Mitchell, from Banbury College said:

“I was fortunate enough to attend the Creative Challenge Workshop in Shoreditch, where I spoke to many professionals who gave me incredible feedback and mentorship on the product I had submitted. I would like to thank them all for their kindness and integrity, and for an experience I will never forget.”

For more information about the CyberHub Trust and its work, visit:

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