Clare Skelton, Prince’s Trust Executive and David Corscadden, Head of Partnerships, Bauer Academy

 21 January 2019

Clare Skelton from the Prince’s Trust and David Corscadden from the Bauer Academy won the Education and Industry Collaborative Project Award at the Northern Ireland Creative & Cultural Skills Awards 2018. We spoke to Clare and David about the project which inspired their nomination.

The Get Started with Radio and Media programme gave young people a chance to learn new skills. Photo Credit: Simon Mills
The Get Started with Radio and Media programme gave young people a chance to learn new skills. Photo Credit: Simon Mills

What job do you do?

Clare: I am a Prince’s Trust Executive.

David: I am Head of Partnerships at the Bauer Academy.

How did you get your current position? 

Clare: I started working at The Prince’s Trust in the reception/programme support team and over the last five years have gradually moved my way up, working across a number of roles. I have been working on the Get Started Programme for just over two years and have learnt a huge amount working with disadvantaged young people.

David: Like most jobs within the creative sector the job almost created itself. I had been working at Downtown Radio/Cool FM on new project development for a couple of years. One of the new areas that presented itself was developing a partnership with a community organisation called Opportunity Youth (now Start360) in response to calls the station was receiving from young listeners that were experiencing difficulties with mental health, relationships and living in the 21st century will all the pressures they were experiencing.

Like most jobs within the creative sector the job almost created itself.

We developed a project called Cool Choices that provided support, personal development and digital skills training. This was unique within Bauer Media and the wider media/creative sector to offer employer led training. At the same time my colleagues in Scotland were building the Scottish media academy delivering media training to organisations within the third sector and corporate clients.

In 2014 it was decided that the work being delivered should come together as one organisation, now known as the Academy. Since then the Academy has grown from four staff to almost 50 based across the UK.

How did this project come about?

Clare: The project came about through a meeting between one of our senior managers, David Corscadden and Mark Mahaffy (MD) at Cool FM & Downtown Radio. Bauer Academy/Cool FM/Downtown wanted to get involved with The Prince’s Trust to give more young people an opportunity to experience radio and media and do something they would not normally get the opportunity to do.

The Prince's Trust Get Started programme was the perfect fit.

David: We came together to develop a media/digital skills course that would help young people develop skills, build confidence and experience a place of work. Having the course based at Downtown Radio/Cool FM provided the necessary 'hook' for the young people as they are strong brands that they associated with.

Tell me a bit about the day to day work

Clare: When planning for a Get Started with Media or Radio programme there is a lot of pre-programme preparation. We try to ensure we reach the right young people and there is a lot of effort put into programme planning and content to ensure the best experience.

We work together to ensure young people finish the programme feeling more positive about their future, enthusiastic, motivated and with a plan about what to do next.

During the programme both Prince’s Trust and the Bauer Academy work closely together to support the group effectively. We deal with logistical issues to ensure everything runs smoothly and deliver together an engaging week where the group get a unique insight into the media industry whilst also working on important soft skills.

We work together to ensure young people finish the programme feeling more positive about their future, enthusiastic, motivated and with a plan about what to do next. The Prince’s Trust then work with each person in the group for three to six months after the programme to help them access education, training and employment.

David: My day to day work is best described as eclectic. Each day is different with new challenges and opportunities. My remit is for the whole of the UK and therefore there can be a lot of travel across the UK. I’m constantly looking for new opportunities to partner with organisations on projects and welcome conversations with organisations that are looking for exciting new ways of engaging with young people.

How did it feel to win the award?  

Clare: I was so delighted to win the award, it was lovely for both our organisations to be recognised. There is so much work undertaken before, during and after a programme, by a range of staff members, and without all those efforts the programmes would not be such a success.

The success of our partnership is measured by the progression of the young people we have encountered during our journey together.

David: I was so pleased that we won the award for partnership working. It’s a privilege and a pleasure working with the Prince's Trust in Northern Ireland and across the whole UK. The success of our partnership is measured by the progression of the young people we have encountered during our journey together. It’s always welcomed to be recognised for the great work and positive outcomes we are delivering.

What are your plans for the future?

Clare: To continue to work with The Prince's Trust and use what we have learnt through running Get Started with Radio and Media to benefit our other programmes.

David: The Academy has ambitious plans across the UK to continue to forge strong partnerships, deliver relevant and engaging training and help communities grow. We will continue to work very closely with the Princes Trust to innovate and grow our combined offering.


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