Middlesbrough College and the Digital Youth Academy launch World’s first Social Media Apprenticeship
Enterprise, entrepreneurship, skills development, digital, social media and Teesside, all things that are very close to our hearts. So, we were honoured to be there, recently, when Teesside grabbed another World first as the ‘Social Media Apprenticeship’ was launched through a partnership between Middlesbrough College and the Digital Youth Academy.
The apprenticeship is designed to support young people in harnessing their online knowledge – and understanding of social media tools – in order to help them find work within businesses struggling to fully understand the opportunities created through constantly evolving digital platforms.
Social media and digital marketing is now a critical part of business and brand communication. That’s why we’ve invested heavily in supporting our clients and our business networks by delivering workshops focused around not only understanding the tools but, more importantly, the conversation that happens across them. So, for us, it’s exciting to see the introduction of some formal development and accreditation around such a new(ish) and unaccredited area of marketing communication.
We are throwing our full support behind the agenda of the ‘DYA’ and will continue to support this initiative and the #borndigital generation. Not just by exploring apprenticeships opportunities for ourselves and our clients, but by utilising future training opportunities as we grow. We are very passionate about supporting local enterprise and education with strong links to Teesside University (e.g. Creative Teesside, Expo Tees), and other regional schools and colleges, to support activities such as career talks, enterprise/start-up events and ‘Education Business Partnerships‘.
It’s important that agencies and local business networks support this partnership and promote the value that initiatives like it will bring to both the business community and our young people.
Read the Press Release below:
MIDDLESBROUGH College is taking part in a new partnership that will see young people use their digital skills to earn a career with businesses. Up to 50 “digital apprenticeships” will be created in a link-up between the college and the ‘Digital Youth Academy’, a project set up by entrepreneur, Penny Power.
Apprentices who have grown up with digital developments such as social media will be able to use their understanding to help businesses. They will also learn from tutors trained by the Digital Youth Academy.
Mastering social media is increasingly becoming important to businesses, but many find it hard to develop and refine the skills necessary to be effective.
The project is designed to tap into a generation which has grown up with social media and use that to create opportunities for them in an increasingly tricky job market.
College principal and chief executive Mike Hopkins said: “We believe by delivering the first official DYA apprenticeships we are showing the rest of the UK the way forward and providing vital jobs for the ‘born digital’ generation of young people by linking them with businesses who need their skills.
“Many firms understand they should be making the most of digital and social media to further their businesses but don’t have the skills or expertise. Digital media is here to stay and the establishment of the DYA in the Tees Valley provides a new way to turn young people’s digital strengths and interests into robust jobs and thriving careers.”
“With youth unemployment running at high levels nationally, apprenticeships such as the ones we are launching provide an excellent, hands-on route for young people setting out to create exciting careers for themselves.”
DYA founder, businesswoman and author, Penny Power, said: “We decided to launch our first Digital Youth Academy partnership together with Middlesbrough College for several reasons.
“Firstly we were looking for a principal and chief executive who would head it with enthusiasm and we really liked Mike Hopkins’ attitude and enthusiasm.
“I’m excited that the launch of the Digital Youth Academy brings together three industries – social media, industry and education – to grow the economy and reduce unemployment.”
“We also wanted to go somewhere where we could make a significant impact and Middlesbrough has very high youth unemployment, we felt we could make a very real difference here. It was also interesting to us that DigitalCity is based in Middlesbrough and that the town already has such enthusiasm around digital.”
And she added: “I really see Middlesbrough as the starting point to grow this knowledge into a global digital industry.”