How we engage employers with our Creative and Digital Skills Academies - CCCG
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How we engage employers with our Creative and Digital Skills Academies

Capital City College Group (CCCG) is a finalist for The City and Guilds Award for Engagement with Employers at the forthcoming AOC’s Beacon Awards in recognition of the work carried out within their Creative and Digital Skills Academies that are supported by the Mayor Of London.

Carlo Liu, Head of Digital Skills Academy, and Sharon Wallace, Head of Creative Industries Academy, let us in on some of the secrets to their success.

Addressing London’s skills needs and skills gaps while supporting underrepresented groups

In 2021, data from the Labour Market Information showed a 36% surge in digital job vacancies in London. However, only 13% of creative jobs were filled by candidates from BAME groups. In recognition of this, we set up the Creative and Digital Skills Academies to foster opportunities within the communities that the Group serves and enable residents to be a part of these thriving sectors.

The main objective was to offer customised training that would meet employer-specific needs while creating accessible pathways for education, particularly amongst underrepresented groups. This is how we did it.

Community outreach

Our dedicated Community Engagement Officers ensure our training reaches those most in need by collaborating closely with relevant grassroots organisations such as the Prince’s Trust and Arsenal in the Community, facilitating interaction with JobCentre Plus, and establishing partnerships with London boroughs

Employer advisory boards

We created Employer Advisory Boards where we meet with employers and stakeholders to find out exactly what skills they need. Board members include Google, Film London, Screen Skills, London Higher, and Camden Council. 

Placing employers’ needs first

By delivering training designed by employers we give students the exact skills they need to find jobs in these industries. Our students are also supported by career and job coaches from within the industry to help with interview practice and provide networking opportunities.

Students gain valuable work experience on live projects, guest lectures, and internships. This high level of exposure enables them to build their network and deepen their understanding of both the industry and potential careers, giving them the confidence to move on to advanced training or secure meaningful work. 

Equality and Inclusion

To make diversity more than just a buzzword, we created an inclusive environment through courses that fit around caring or other work responsibilities, for example, summer courses, courses specifically for people not in education, employment, or training (NEET), or for people on low pay, and courses for women to address sector-specific female underrepresentation.

Planning for growth

We receive about £500k of adult education funding income, which covers delivery costs. The curriculum is now being developed to include longer courses at Level 3 and Level 4 to provide further progression and higher-level certification or experience.

In 2024, we will relocate to the newly refurbished Soho Centre of Applied Technology, which will feature cutting-edge technology such as AI and VFX.

Measuring impact on the community

We have had an incredible reach, engaging over 5,000 students, and involving 250 employers. As a result, 338 students have gained work experience placements and 458 have secured employment or apprenticeships.

The Academies have also enhanced general digital literacy across communities by giving individuals the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in a technology-driven economy; in addition to industry-specific academy courses, over 2,000 students have completed the Essential Digital Skills Qualification in the last year.

Key lessons learned

Take a community-centric approach and establish a dedicated team for employer and community engagement to lead the work.

Meet real industry needs: collaborate directly with employers to determine what skills they need.

Be diverse and flexible: offer courses through a wide range of channels; online, face-to-face, variable duration, summer courses, morning-only, evening courses, etc.

Build in wraparound employability: Our academies don’t have an exit point. Assistance with progression into careers or further learning is embedded into our training programmes so that students are always supported with what comes next.

Want to know more about our work?

If you would like to collaborate with us or find out more about our work, please get in touch with us here.


Queen's Award for Enterprise