A Digital & Creative Industries Career College: preparing young adults for work

25th August 2015

?Schools are still far too focused on exam results and are not doing enough to equip their students for the workplace?, say students in a new study.

New research

The new research, which questioned both secondary school-aged students and their parents, saw three quarters (76%) of pupils say that their school trains them just to pass exams and get good grades rather than preparing them for the world of work.

More than 80% of students think it is important for the education system to be more career- focused, however a third don’t think they have been actively encouraged to undertake work- experience as part of the school curriculum.

Furthermore, almost a third surveyed by the Career Colleges Trust - to mark the opening of six new Career Colleges this September - were unclear about what they actually want do to when they finish school.

Parents themselves also admit to not taking into account the vocational aspect of a school when choosing one for their children, with almost a third saying they made their choice purely based on positions in exam league table results.

Huge skills gap

Lord Baker, Founder and Trustee of the Career Colleges Trust, says:

“Our country is facing a huge skills gap across many industries and this research highlights the extent of this problem. If young people themselves are not feeling prepared for work, employers will continue to struggle with the recruitment issues that have become such a challenge for UK industry. We need to ensure that young people are equipped with the skills they need to go into the workplace with confidence."

“I launched employer-led Career Colleges to help address this issue and am delighted that the network is expanding, with nine in operation from September.”

London's only Digital & Creative Industries Career College

Seven new Career Colleges will be opening their doors to students in September. This includes Barking & Dagenham College, which will be the first Career College in the country specialising in digital and creative industry training.

Career Colleges offer employer-led, industry-focused specialist education for 14-19 year olds. High quality vocational training is underpinned by a rigorous academic curriculum in core subjects, ensuring students get a rounded and relevant education.

Cathy Walsh OBE, Principal and CEO, of Barking & Dagenham College said:

“London is the world's largest creative sector and work opportunities abound for creative and digitally savvy Londoners. So, we are delighted to be recognised as the Capital's first Digital & Creative Industries Career College, which will operate as an employer-sponsored training arena, directly connected to London's Creative Industries Sector.

Vital work capabilities like creativity, innovation and entrepreneurialism will provide our trainees with the edge that employers now demand. We are proud to be a specialist Career College in the Digital & Creative Industries, as it demonstrates that our employer connections deliver benefits for our trainees and for London's businesses. Furthermore, it gives our trainees confidence that their training with the College leads to work and a career in the industry they want.”

Clyde Williams, Chairman of ShoNet Systems, which is supporting the College commented:

“Today technology is central to the success of all organisations. We often get requests from clients for knowledgeable individuals in the digital and creative sphere. It is predicted that there will be over 150,000 new digital jobs by 2020. Barking & Dagenham College is giving students the opportunity to gain valuable skills in an expanding sector, giving them the best chance to succeed.”

Another College supporter, Steven Mitchell, Publishing Director – East London & Essex, at Archant added:

“Archant have been proud partners of Barking & Dagenham College on several key projects and it is fantastic to see them recognised as a Digital & Creative Industries College.

"Technology and creativity are the key to success in all organisations and Archant’s experience of working with the staff and students at the College gives me the confidence that their students will gain the necessary skill sets which will lead to work and ultimately careers in these sectors”

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