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A wide range of local employers are signing up to be involved in the county’s first Studio School this September.
The Digital Studio College is earmarked for opening at the former grammar school site on Mundy Street, Heanor, with a ’work ready’ curriculum that has been devised in partnership with employers.
Young people aged 14 to 19 will combine their academic studies with vocational qualifications in computer programming and digital media and gain valuable work experience at local businesses.
Among the employers involved with the Digital Studio College, offering work experience to students, is entrepreneur Adesola Akindele (31) who runs Derby-based digital marketing agency Emoire.
Adesola explained: “We specialise in supporting new and growing businesses with the digital marketing edge that they need to be successful.
“I was keen to be involved in the Digital Studio College from the outset so that we could help to steer the curriculum and ensure that the young people have the skills that businesses such as ourselves need both now and in the future.
“I and particularly delighted that digital video production has been included in the curriculum which was our suggestion as this is an area that is of increasing importance for web based marketing for the majority of businesses.
“Young people of this age are known as ‘milennials’ and are so fast and creative in their use of digital technology.
“For businesses to be successful, they need to harness these skills and, in turn, the young people need to understand how what they are doing largely for leisure purposes now can be converted into very marketable work skills for the future.
“I already employ a number of graduates and I look forward to hopefully be expanding my team at Emoire with students from the Digital Studio College.”
Digital Studio College Vice Principal Matthew Morris concluded: “We are extremely grateful to the wide range of employers who are investing their expertise in the development of the Digital Studio College and have pledged their support moving forward.
“There has been widespread interest from young people and there is a busy timetable of taster events in the coming months with fun and interactive workshop activities that give an insight into the type of learning and curriculum that will be on offer from this September.”
The Digital Studio College, which is sponsored by Derby College Education Trust, will be the first of its kind in Derbyshire and will cater for around 300 students aged 14 to 19 of all abilities.
The College will be focused on preparing young people for university, apprenticeships and employment with a curriculum combining academic and vocational qualifications.
Students will also undertake weekly work placements and will develop IT and digital media skills which are in such high demand in the local area.
Applications for Year 10 and Year 12 are now being taken online at www.digitalstudiocollege.co.uk where information about the events will also be updated.