Opportunities for the ‘Born Digital’ generation

October 2nd, 2012

A new kind of Apprenticeship has been created at Middlesbrough College to facilitate the ‘born digital’ generation and has recently received the backing of local charity, the Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation.

The Digital Youth Academy (DYA) aims to marry the skills of young people who can understand and implement digital and social media tools with local businesses and charities who are keen to reap the benefits of social media within their Marketing Strategy.

In June this year, Middlesbrough College became the first official partner of the Digital Youth Academy after linking-up with celebrated Digital Entrepreneur and founder, Penny Power.

Now, at the beginning of a new academic year, the staff are looking forward to pairing prospective employers with Digital Apprentices.

Mark Bennison, Head of Business Development for the Engineering & Computing Department at the College, said: “The Digital Youth Academy is all about harnessing the skills of young people who may already have some digital technology and social media experience. This qualification combines the apprentice’s current knowledge in this field with new skills learnt on the programme, to ensure they have a firm base from which to start a career in the Digital Industry.”

“There are no entry conditions, although many employers require good GCSE passes in English and Maths with the most important thing being a good basic knowledge of social media and a willingness to learn.

“Through the Digital Youth Academy’s cutting edge e-learning zone, the Apprentices can complete the qualifications and track their progress online, whilst building up a portfolio, which can evidence the work they have done in the workplace.

“We take skills that these 16-18 year olds already possess and help them to hone them in a business setting.

“In return the employers gain a trained Apprentice who can either explain and / or implement social media practices for companies, which may not be tech savvy – or manage what can be a time consuming and therefore expensive aspect of a business for those companies who do understand the benefits of using social media.

“Having the support and financial backing of the Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation means that we can find companies who would really benefit from having a Digital Apprentice and create the opportunity for an Apprentice to work with them.”

Andy Preston, Chairman of the Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation has not only pledged financial support to the Digital Youth Academy, but has generously offered to part-fund two Apprentices.

Andy said: “We think the Digital Youth Academy is perfectly in line with our own Apprentice Programme and we’re excited to partner with Middlesbrough College to create opportunities for local charities or businesses to recruit an Apprentice to develop and transfer cutting edge digital skills into their organisation.”

The Digital Youth Academy is partially funded by government grant of £1,500 and the Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation is offering to match that sum. This means that the total to a charity looking to take on a Digital Apprentice would be just £2,000 or £18 a week.

For more information about the Digital Youth Academy, or any of the other courses available at Middlesbrough College, please contact Course Information on (01642) 333700 or email courseinfo@mbro.ac.uk

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