Creative Tutors: how to make work experience work

,  1 November 2016

This October, college tutors from our National Skills Academy gathered together for an afternoon of learning and workshops to address the question of industry links and work placements for creative arts students.

Twenty representatives from our Skills Academy attended to hear case studies from specialists in industry, education and work experience. We then divided into working groups to discuss how work experience can be made effective and meaningful for students.

This was designed as a ‘creative tutor’ event, and it proved to be a really productive afternoon. After exploring the question of work experience, we finished the session with a list of tips and actions for network members to bring back to their own colleges. This included:

  • developing business cases in collaboration with employers
  • better student preparation
  • being upfront about the skills which should be gained within a given work placement

Continuing the theme of practical experience, we then heard from the National Theatre about its Design Competition involving the production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. This is part of the live brief that is part of our Skills Academy programme.

Addressing these shared challenges is one of the rationales for the National Skills Academy. The network enables its members to meet up and build practical solutions for issues such as student work experience. We will run these tutor events annually, alongside other opportunities for professional development, such as our National Conference and programme of work.

The event was held at Lewisham Southwark College’s Waterloo Campus. As well as being one of the Skills Academy’s leadership colleges, Lewisham Southwark College are also our November College of the Month. Their Creative Apprenticeship Team won the 2016 Training Provider of the Year Award, for delivering 57 apprenticeships that were judged to be of the highest quality experience for young people. (nominations for 2017 Awards are now open)

If you are interested in attending these creative tutor events, or have any suggestions about what the next subject should cover, please get in touch.

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