Digital Media Academy expands with 76 new jobs

Published 20th May 2016 at 2:54pm

Photo from left to right: Tyler Hopkinson, Jack Hawksworth & Chris Ash (Managing Director of Skills for Careers)

Skills for Careers, an educational academy which provides young people between the age of 16-23 with an alternative educational route to employment, has created 76 jobs thanks to a grant from Sheffield City Region (SCR).

Skills for Careers runs different courses in business skills, social media & digital marketing. Its role is to find relevant placements and deliver high quality digital marketing qualifications to help young people find employment and be successful in their chosen career.

The Digital Media Academy delivers digital marketing qualifications to a variety of people, from young adults starting out in their careers to those who already work in a marketing role. The academy aims to create 100 apprenticeship jobs a year from junior designers, marketing assistants, researchers, web designers to digital assistants.

The Academy’s establishment was made possible with a grant from the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) of over £25,000.

This formed a crucial part of a £74,000 investment in the expansion of the Digital Media Academy from Dronfield, North East Derbyshire, to the Electric Works in Sheffield city centre, the furnishing of the new location as well as investment in hardware.

Chris Ash, Director of Skills for Careers, said: “The Local Enterprise Partnership funding has been vital to our development as an educational institution. It has allowed us to grow the digital side of the academy by moving to the Electric Works in Sheffield, keeping our head office in Dronfield, which has increased our reach to students in other areas of the Sheffield City Region (we now have students from Rotherham, Chesterfield and Doncaster). It has also helped furnish these new premises and allowed us to invest in hardware and state of the art computers for our tutors and students.

“Without the LEP’s funding we wouldn’t have been able to achieve this in the timescales that we wanted to meet. We probably wouldn’t have expanded our academy and we wouldn’t have been able to provide the equipment now available to our students.

“With the new facilities, we now have a permanent base in Sheffield to hold workshops and provide support to students from across the region.  With the extra space in Sheffield, the students can come to the academy; use the facilities and equipment, and receive help from our team of tutors.

“We find that most young people don’t have access to the hardware and software which is predominantly used in the digital industry, so by having the facilities in our academy we can provide our students with the skills required for working in this field.”

The academy was established in 2011 and there are currently 330 apprentices training in their centre.

Six new internal jobs have been created as a result of the company’s expansion as well as seventy digital marketing apprenticeships, all within the Sheffield City Region.

He said:  “Our academy has been very successful, with 93% of apprentices staying in digital sector employment after the course. We have designed the course so that our students learn the right skills required in this field. Our digital marketing apprentices gain confidence, employability skills, and of course, a highly regarded qualification; whilst the employers who support them see significant returns on their investment.”

Nigel Brewster, Vice Chair of Sheffield City Region LEP, said: “The Digital Skills Academy is a fantastic asset to our region and it has been a privilege for the LEP to be able to offer further support through this grant and our free business advice service, assisting in the application process.

“In the Sheffield City Region we pride ourselves on the ease of doing business, thanks to a straightforward approach of getting things done. This also applies to funding grants. Our economy will only continue to grow if we invest in skills.”

To find out more about The Digital Media Academy, visit their website at www.thedigitalmediaacademy.co.uk

This Academy received Regional Growth Fund grants, which came from the LEP’s Unlocking Business Investment programme.

For more information about Sheffield City Region LEP visit www.sheffieldcityregion.org.uk

The Regional Growth Fund has now ceased, but for any public or private company wanting to access funding can now go to Sheffield City Region Growth Hub website at http://www.scrgrowthhub.co.uk

The Sheffield City Region Growth Hub offers access to business support, working collaboratively with regional and national support programmes, as well as working with local authorities and private sector businesses to ensure consistent access to the best advice across the region.

The Growth Hub, which has core funding of £4.82m, acts as a ‘gateway’ for businesses to access specialist support in a number of key areas to enable growth, including innovation, exporting, accessing finance and training.

The Growth Hub can be contacted on 03330 00 00 39, emailing growthhub@sheffieldcityregion.org.uk  or visit www.scrgrowthhub.co.uk