Educational establishments is constantly striving to remain relevant. Careers are changing at breakneck pace with the advent of technology, and so educational establishments need to provide a curriculum which represents the changing skills demand.
In order to be successful in such a dynamic economy, people have to be adaptable and willing to learn new skills. One establishment providing a leading edge opportunity to develop work skills is Oldham College.
Oldham College is pioneering the creation of “career colleges” – a network of establishments which offer courses whose foundations are entrenched in work based skills. The premise of the scheme is to develop students with skills that are in demand in employment, and to provide a steady stream of employable individuals into the economy.
Each college in the network will have its own speciality, and Oldham will be hub for creative and digital industries. The faculty is moving into new premises next January, in order to facilitate these innovative new courses.
Education is constantly evolving. University is fast becoming seen as not the only solution, and Oldham College has been early to recognise this shift and is embracing it. Old style apprenticeships are coming back into fashion, with the mix of vocational training with an academic backbone proving to be an attractive proposition for an increasing number of young people.
The model of University Technical College proved to be the inspiration for Oldham, in that they too have a vocational and academic approach to their courses. UTC concentrate predominantly on engineering, with the majority of alumni opting for apprenticeships after their studies. Oldham have utilised this approach and applied a similar course structure to the digital and creative industries, a shrewd move considering the current changes in Manchester’s landscape.
Manchester is fast becoming the go to destination for digital and creative industries. Salford is now home to Media City UK, a hub of Digital and Creative companies who boast the BBC as one of its residents.
Manchester is also taking an entrepreneurial attitude to its digital industry, with incubator The Sharp Project leading the way. The incubator houses a range of entrepreneurs and production companies, and is sponsored by the local council. Sky television has utilised the studio space on offer to produce some of their programmes, providing the kind of kudos needed to affirm Manchester as a digital contender to be reckoned with.
Which is why Oldham’s new courses are such a good idea. The relevance and usefulness of such qualifications are represented by the supply of jobs in the locality. Manchester needs people qualified in these areas, people au fait with the new digital and creative world. The fact that one of our local colleges has recognised such a need and is catering for the demand demonstrates how forward thinking Manchester is and the innovation that is fast becoming a hallmark of the area.
You can find out more information about the career college course at http://www.oldham.ac.uk/futureworks/digital-careers.aspx.