Work-based learning for the creative industries: a case study of the development of BA (Hons) web design and social media

Riley, Tim (2017) Work-based learning for the creative industries: a case study of the development of BA (Hons) web design and social media. Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning, 7 (1) . pp. 79-91. ISSN 2042-3896 (doi:10.1108/HESWBL-08-2016-0063)

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to highlight the knowledge and insight gained building a work-based learning (WBL) Degree Apprenticeship developed through the HEFCE Catalyst Fund. Requirements of the funding stipulated that, in addition to work WBL provision, the course should be offered as a two-year fast-track. This was required to help reduce the increased financial burden placed on students, which arose from the substantial rise in HE tuition fees sanctioned by the UK coalition government in 2010.

Design/methodology/approach: The article presents a case study detailing the advantages and pitfalls of integrating WBL into fledgling but rapidly expanding creative industries, such as web media production and social media. The development and composition of WBL model was adapted from an existing and successful three-year, traditionally structured, BA (Hons.) Web Media Production course. It adopted a model whereby partnerships between external organisations and educational institutions are established through a contractual agreement.

Findings: Growth of the web media sector, while rapid, is still embryonic. Consequently many employers, particularly in social media, remain small or micro businesses, many capable of only employing one student. This caused several accumulative and administrative and issues along with funding implications. While for many micro businesses the WBL model was appealing by provided employers with an appropriately skilled workforce that addressed the technical and digital skills gap, Government funding and partnership initiatives proved to be more directly suitable for larger businesses.

Originality/value:The author considers the case study to be a distinctive insight into the development of creative and vocationally orientated subjects. The article examines Degree Apprenticeships and work-based learning from the perspective of creative industries employer partnerships, particularly in the area of web and social media micro businesses. These are crucial areas for expansion as higher-level degree apprenticeships are rolled out in the UK.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Media
Item ID: 21507
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Tim Riley
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2017 12:39
Last Modified: 31 May 2019 11:32

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