Edinburgh College’s pilot BBC Make it Digital (MiD) programme has given 11 young unemployed people a launchpad to digital careers, equipping them with the skills and work experience to succeed in the thriving sector.
The college took on the students as part of the national scheme, which is giving unemployed people aged 16 to 24 the chance to learn about digital areas including social media, search engine optimisation and digital marketing. The project is a partnership between Skills Development Scotland (SDS), BBC Scotland, the Department of Work and Pensions and six regional colleges across Scotland.
Over eight weeks, the students at the college trained with tutor Madeleine Brown at Milton Road, learning employability skills as well as digital, and went on work placements. A couple of students did their placements with teams at the college.
Four of the MiD students have now progressed on to courses at Edinburgh College, with three doing a level 5 - Broadcast Media and Video Editing - and one doing a level 6 - Art and Digital Design.
Other trainees have found work, one as designer/photographer at Xile Clothing, one with Creative Exchange-based tour company Ammoun Voyages, working on search engine optimisation and blogging, and another at Wetherspoons. One student – George Delaney – will start work as a junior coder in Edinburgh College’s IT team this month.
The other three are job seeking with the help of Madeleine Brown and the DWP.
The college is exploring the possibility of running Make it Digital again in future years.
One major part of MiD was an enterprise day hosted by the Scottish Institute for Enterprise in partnership with Young Enterprise Scotland’s Bridge 2 Business. In teams, students had to use their new digital skills to develop fundraising plans for BBC Children in Need, create a digital marketing plan and pitch their ideas. The event helped them develop their skills, knowledge and teamworking.
Justin McGirr from B2B, who is based at the college, said: “BBC Make It Digital was a fantastic initiative and hugely beneficial for the participants. There’s great scope for collaboration between the programme and Bridge 2 Business. We are passionate at Young Enterprise Scotland about inspiring and supporting young people to learn and succeed through enterprise.”