New Career Colleges chair switched on to deliver digital and creative skills to Birmingham youngsters

BT’s David Maher has been named as Chair of BMet’s Digital and Creative Career College board.

Leading a 14-strong group, Maher who is the company’s Major Corporate and Public Sector Deputy General Manager will help BMet respond to major skills challenges facing the sector and prepare students for employment.

“I see this as a real opportunity to immerse both students and employers in a programme that has the industry’s unique skills and innovative practices at its very core,” he said. “From this, students can set out clear ambitions and career pathways, with employers at the forefront of all knowledge and training received.”

Career Colleges provide employer-led, practical vocational studies that train 14-19 year-olds for the world of work.  They equip school and college leavers with the right skills to progress on to Apprenticeships, further training and employment in key industries.

Over 390 students on creative arts, IT and digital technology courses are part of the Digital and Creative Career College, participating in mentoring, lectures and work placements.  The programme encourages students to develop soft skills in communication, time management and team working along with their technical and professional training.

Jeanette Prole, Head of Faculty at BMet commented: “30 cross-sector employers are already invested in this training model and committed to supporting our skills strategy.

“Under David’s guidance, the board will ensure our learning opportunities are aligned to what is happening in the workplace and across industry.  Having analysed the region’s jobs market and potential for growth we already know that crucial IT skills such as coding face shortages due to a lack of females pursuing qualifications in this field.  We want to tackle this head on, ensuring talented individuals get to where they want to be and that local employers contribute to and help to evolve our region’s digital future.

She continued: “We are looking to engage with other businesses in order to hear their views about the current skills landscape and invite them to support our students by offering work-focused experiences and industry awareness-raising opportunities.”

David is joined by representatives from firms across the region’s creative and digital sector including Samsung, Birmingham Hippodrome, KPMG, Irwin Mitchell, Project Birmingham, JC Social Media, Hot 500 and Brewin Dolphin.