College creatives boosted by industry expertise

During A Level and GCSE results weeks, we are celebrating student success stories across our Group and showcasing learners who have achieved great things. Read how Creative Media students are benefitting from unique links between The Manchester College and industry partners.

Creativity is key for The Manchester College whose unique industry links are seeing students secure invaluable work experience with cutting edge creatives.

Creative industries include film, TV, arts, architecture, publishing, advertising and video games. They are a key strength for the UK economy, and the North West is one of the UK’s leading regions for related jobs. Creative industries account for £92 billion of Gross Value Added (GVA), two million jobs and are growing twice as fast as the economy as a whole, according to government statistics.

Now students at The Manchester College are benefitting from the close ties and established relationships between tutors and cutting edge creative companies based across the city region. 

Student of the Year Sebastian Kaczmarczyk secured a Distinction in Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production. Sebastian is currently pursuing a career in motion graphics and aims to be working in an animation studio within three years.

The 18 year old said: “During my course, I learned about new sides of the Creative Media industry and job roles it offered. At first, I was more interested in digital art but now I like animating much more and decided to look for work in that area.

“Thanks to my tutor, Katy, I had opportunities to work for clients during work placement. Moreover, I took a part of the mentor programme, where industry professional taught me about the industry and working in general.”

Alistair Sheehan also gained a Distinction and benefitted from an industry partnership between The Manchester College and leading global marketing, technology and commerce agency Amaze.

Alistair, who was awarded the College’s Adult Student of the Year, said: “My course and tutors have helped me discover things I didn’t know I could do or enjoy. I now have several different areas which I would like to explore further. Most importantly, the College has encouraged me to actually have ambitions where I didn’t before.

“My tutors set up work experience placements and we had guest speakers from the industry who came in, reviewed your work and chatted to you about what the industry is really like. We also took part in employability hour, which I found important. To have a college that helps prepare people for their future careers or further education is refreshing, and takes the pressure off what will happen when you leave.”

Katy Rushton, Creative Media tutor at The Manchester College, said: “The job market is competitive so students really need to have the right skills. The creative industries are still primarily graduate level, however, there are more and more apprenticeships becoming available, particularly in things like social media marketing. 

“The Juice Academy is one example. Set up by Tangerine PR and with apprenticeships assessed by our partners Total People, they’ve paired up an apprentice with Manchester based company Flow Creative, our employer partner on our Level 3 animation pathway. We are working more and more with industries at FE level, so students who do not want to go to university have the right starting point to get a foot in the door.”

Katy emphasised that it was the College’s unique partnerships with employers that sets it apart from others.

She said: “This year we have been working with Ideas Foundation who ran a creative industries employability boot camp with over 100 of our media students. In addition, 55 students took part in a week long media camp with 20th Century Fox where they created campaigns for the film ‘Love, Simon’. Students also linked with professional mentors from companies including the BBC and ITV, Mediacom, Seventy7 Group, Dinosaur, The E-Word, Indiehutch Digital and more. 

“The College has also just secured two new employer partners - Creative Cow, a graphic design agency based at The Sharp Project, and Flow Creative, an Animation Agency based in the Northern Quarter. We will be working closely with both companies to ensure our courses are as industry relevant as possible and that students leave with the skills they need to gain employment in the creative and digital sector.” 

Find out more about Creative Industry courses at The Manchester College.

Looking for a September start? Join us at enrolment this September and find your fit with us!

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Sebastian Kaczmarczyk

Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production