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Creative and digital careers take centre stage

Netflix, BAFTA and ITV inspire local students to consider creative and digital careers.

On 7 March, as part of National Careers Week, over 550 students took part in the Creative and Digital Careers Exhibition at Woolwich Works, Greenwich.

Students from 26 schools from south east and north east London participated in workshops and meet with 35 employers, education and training providers including Netflix, BAFTA, London Film Academy, National Film and Television School, and BT.

The multi-disciplinary cultural hub at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich was alive with fascinating technology and demonstrations, students explored everything from virtual reality worlds in the metaverse from CGI, to gaming and app design courses from Ada, the National College for Digital Skills, to music production, and set design.

Images of student trying out VR headset with CGI, students playing with Fifa at Confetti and Nottingham Trent University stand, staff at ADA stand, and sketch of costume designs.

Event highlights

Highlights included Confetti London, part of Nottingham Trent University, who brought a FIFA game, mixing decks and a video camera to illustrate e-sports, music and film careers and qualifications; make-up effects from catwalk to walking dead from Final Checks and London College of Beauty Therapy, and the opportunity for students to try being a presenter against a greenscreen brought by Lewisham College.

Performers from Big Creative Education surprised students and teachers throughout the day with ‘flash mob’ street dance routines. Whilst BAFTA, Netflix, producers from ITV’s ‘Loose Women’, and Mo-Sys, Greenwich-based and award-winning manufacturer of virtual production solutions and camera robotics for film and TV, ran interactive workshops for groups of students.

Snapshots of presenters from Netflix, BAFTA and Mo-Sys talking to room full of students and picture of student writing poster ideas onto large blank sheet of paper.

In the courtyard outside Woolwich works, BT wowed students with a workshop set in a specially-kitted van that uses the latest digital technology to create an immersive floor-to-ceiling land- or seascape within the vehicle.

International visual effects company, Framestore, showcased some of the technology used in film editing and offered merchandise from the latest Thor films for a prize draw and to students who completed a feedback ‘bingo sheet’ demonstrating high levels of engagement at the event.

Inspiring young people’s career ambitions

With everything from theatre to video represented, students found different areas inspiring. Amaya, student, said “I’ve been looking at different careers and colleges. I’m really interested in making music and producing music. I’ve just looked at Lewisham College’s news green screen and it was nice to see myself presenting, and that might be something I’m interested in too now.”

Farida commented “It’s been quite interesting talking to people about jobs and apprenticeships and stuff, and finding out about things I didn’t know about such as architecture. That was pretty cool and something I’d like to get into.”

three images showing different projections around the interior of the BT immersive experience van

Something for everyone

The event, which was made possible through funding from the Careers and Enterprise Company, the Mayor of London and the GLA’s ‘Unpacking the Credits’ programme, is one of a series organised by Local London’s Careers Hub team that aim to broaden the career aspirations of young people across nine of London’s eastern boroughs.

Building on continuing relationships with companies, universities and schools, these events highlight pathways into fast-growing and high-demand sectors for young people in mainstream and special schools.

The event also included two workshops for teachers to learn more about careers in these sectors and how they can support students aspiring to work in them.

Bob Neame leading a workshop for teachers

Inspiring all students to consider creative and digital careers

Sarah Murray, Director of Local London said “Research shows that the creative and digital sectors are growing in this part of London and could provide exciting life-long employment for many. We also know that many students in this part of London may not be consider these roles as viable options for them. This event aims to show that there are a huge range of career options here for everyone.”

Matt Morrow, Cabinet member for Children and Young People, Royal Borough of Greenwich, said “I am a delighted that Royal borough of Greenwich has hosted this event to excite young people from across our borough and the wider sub-region about jobs in the creative and digital spheres. We have an increasing demand for skills in these sectors in this and neighbouring boroughs. Events like this are key to ensuring all our young people know that jobs in these sectors are open to them no matter their background.”

Cllr Mariam Lolavar, Cabinet member for Inclusive Economy Business and Skills, Royal Borough of Greenwich, said “It has been brilliant to see all the employers and education providers here bringing to life some of the amazing career possibilities in their fields. Today’s event shines a light on the growing arts and culture scene in Greenwich and our neighbouring boroughs. This is evidenced so well by the very venue we are in today, as well as local employers, film studios in Barking and Dagenham and Enfield to name a few.”

Fast growing and important sector

According to the latest official statistics from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and, Sport (DCMS), employment in the UK creative industries is growing at four times the rate of the UK workforce as a whole. This sector is a strategic skills development priority for the sub-region identified in our employer-led Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) along with: construction, health and social care, manufacturing, and distribution.

With council and business partners, Local London is holding events to help young people and adults in the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Bromley, Enfield, Greenwich, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest to understand current and future opportunities in these sectors.

If you would like to help broaden young people’s career aspirations across our boroughs, please contact our Careers Hub team: careershub.east@redbridge.gov.uk

⇒ Find out more about our work to address skills shortages in our nine boroughs visit: Local.london/lsip

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