Last week the newest cohort of Ladder’s students had their introductory session into the Ladders course. The course will feature four elements to it that the students will go through: the creative course, where students will learn a variety of techniques and industry standard skills to help better their craft in either, Film & TV, Software Development or Music; which will culminate in them creating their own unique project based on their newly learned skills in their chosen discipline. Employability support, as the students learn from industry professionals they will gain valuable employability support in accruing crucial skills that will help them get a foot up in an ever-competitive jobs market, as well as portfolio work from their projects that can showcase their abilities. Enterprise support that allows students to take their projects to another level with investment and guidance on the ways to best use it to achieve the best possible outcome. As well as the advice and guidance they receive throughout the process, with support from people who have built successful careers in their chosen industry, and access to the necessary tools required to be successful.

Other valuable skills that the students will gain throughout the course is that the project is industry-led, so they will have access to professionals who will help guide their projects to be cutting edge and help provide a genuinely unique product in an ever competitive marketplace. They will also help build up an array of connections within their chosen discipline, as their mentors will assist them and point them in the direction of people who can help their project, this also gives opportunities in the future as successful networking can provide employment and investment in their future careers. Upon completion of the course, they will also receive OBA badges (Open Badge Academy), which are industry-recognised qualifications and can help in getting ahead in the jobs market.

The course has 2 stages, the first part involves the students learning more about their craft, with industry visits and workshops to help improve their skills and gain an insight into their field; the second stage the project development phase where they begin to create their own projects, this culminates in a presentation evening where the students will showcase their work to one another and to their mentors. Each student comes arrives with various skillsets and differing visions, as some have a clear understanding of what they are looking to create and achieve while some are using it as more of an exploratory process to try and understand their respective discipline. In every case, it will be fantastic to see what each student’s produce…

– Rohan Katargamwala (Young Champion/Youth Focus)

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My name is Georgia and for the next few months, I will be following a group of talented young individuals partaking in the programme, Ladders. The launch day was on the 23rd February and is where myself and the young people received most of the information regarding this innovative, wonderful programme.

I used the launch as an opportunity to get to know a few of the people involved in the programme. I spoke to two of the musicians working with Ladders. One of the programme members I spoke to was Adam, who plays electric guitar and describes his taste of music as being “local to the North East” as he enjoys attending gigs in the region and local role models are a good inspiration. Adam told me his (most famous) musical idol is Biffy Clyro, an inspiration I found to be evident in his fashion style.

I also met Gabrielle, who not only sings but also plays “a bit” of guitar and keyboard. She tells me she likes pop music and that this is the genre she would most like to branch into, but that she is also a fan of making acoustic music and listening to R&B. Her musical idol is Arianna Grande and listening to her talking voice, I imagine Gabrielle could do some great covers of her work. Gabrielle informs me that she is in her third year of a performing arts course at Sunderland university which confirms my suspicion that she is more talented than she seems to believe she is. I asked her why she was taking part in Ladders and she told me she felt it would help her “get a career head start” and listening to everything said at the launch, I believe the programme will achieve this aim for Gabrielle.

I look forward to seeing each cohort go on this incredible journey of exploration in their career aspirations.

– Georgia Knight (Young Champion/Youth Focus)