From education to employment


60 students from four digital Career Colleges have made an exciting trip to Amazon Offices in central London for a briefing about a live project they will be working on.

The project is being run by the Career Colleges Trust, in partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Comic Relief. Students have been challenged to develop a solution within the digital space to engage 16-24 year olds with Comic Relief. The aim is to engage even more young people with the charity’s projects and secure their future support.

The full project brief was unveiled at the all-day session. Students heard from AWS and Comic Relief representatives, who explained more about each organisation. AWS highlighted some of its latest technologies and Comic Relief gave advice on digital marketing and social media platforms to help with the task.

 The colleges involved with this pioneering project are Barking & Dagenham, BMet, Harrow, and Westminster Kingsway, all of which have digital Career Colleges. 800 students were involved in the first stage of the project, submitting proposed solutions to the challenge. Three winning ideas were chosen, which will now be worked up by the 60 selected students, in teams of five.

 Welcoming students to the briefing, the Career Colleges Trust’s Julia Von Klonowski, said:

“This is an amazing opportunity for our digital Career College students. It offers them a real insight into the world of work, as well as giving them access to industry professionals who are able to provide excellent advice and support.

“The task will give students a chance to use the digital skills they have been acquiring during their courses and flag up to them the huge number of career opportunities available within the growing digital sector.

“The students learnt more about both AWS and Comic Relief at the briefing session and this has hopefully inspired them. We are looking forward to seeing how their designs develop and the finished projects when they present them in March.”

 The task must be managed and run in exactly the same way as any other ‘real’ project. Students will have two update meetings with the client, focusing on design, finance and the project plan.

Representatives from Career Colleges Trust, AWS and Comic Relief will sit on the project board. The teams will return to the Amazon offices in March to present their solutions to the judging panel. Prizes will be awarded to the winning projects.

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

“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, said:

 “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 Comic Relief, which will be of real value to our work.”

Among the 60 students attending the event was BMet’s Fatou Bobb (19). She said:

“I am so excited to be part of this project. It’s a great opportunity to meet potential employers and brilliant to put on my CV. I am really looking forward to working with my group and putting our proposal together, ready to present in March.”

Digital student Haritika Priya Changer-Bhardwaj (18) from Barking and Dagenham College added:

“The briefing session has been really helpful and given me lots of new knowledge. Being here, at Amazon’s head office is inspiring and is giving me ideas about possible jobs available. I am looking forward to the project and think that the presentation will increase my confidence when it comes to talking to an audience.”

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