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A new academy at Bath College will match students with technology companies in the South West to make sure they are learning industry relevant skills.


Thirteen business companies have signed up to the FutureSpark Academy, a partnership between Bath College and business website TechSPARK.


They will offer students at the college a range of work placements, either one or two days a week for a minimum of three months.


Companies signed up include SearchStar, Memberoo, Nova Modus, That Media Thing, Ordable, Rocketmakers and web designers Deep Blue Sky.


They cover a wide range of interests from environmentally friendly companies like Trakeo to Lifejak, a company building software for large-scale events.


CelebVM, which offers personal video messages from celebrities, is looking for someone to help build up its social media presence.


Students will also work with The Yogscast, a network of YouTube broadcasters, who are looking for a video production assistant and a web developer.




Employability advisor Amy Patterson has been working with companies to finalise job descriptions for students on work placements.


She said: “The idea is that it’s not just a week’s work experience. We want these companies to adopt a student into their company.


“The first week might be a bit tricky training them up, but after that they will be treated as a member of staff.


“We’re lucky enough to be in a digital creative hotspot, it’s one of the biggest ones outside London. There’s so much going on and more could be happening, but there’s a skills shortage.


“If we can make sure we have this strong relationship with businesses, we can make sure what we teach our student is want they need in order to get into the workplace.


“We can make sure our students are work-ready.”


Martin Lippiatt, from Gradwell Communications, met students from the college for the first time at a networking event on November 17.


He thinks the academy is a good way for companies to train students who could go on to become future employees.


He said: “He said: “I think it’s a great idea. The reason we’re getting involved is because the college students are an untapped resource really.


“There are a number of people studying in college or university, but employers are still reluctant to take on the students once they have graduated because they have no work experience.


“It’s a good way of plugging the gap. We have done the apprenticeships scheme before with Bath College and that has worked out really well.


“What we’re finding when we advertise is that many people are technical, but not a lot of people are customer focused, so it helps with that as well.


“When they come in we give them training with regards to being more customer- friendly so they can advise our customers better.


“If they’re looking for a job in this area, we’re one place that they could consider.”


Miss Patterson said: “The event was about giving them an opportunity to meet students. The students were working at the computers so they could show them what kind of thing they do.


“It’s not just about the students, it’s also an opportunity for the employers to get someone fresh from college, someone who could be a developing star.


“The students really responded well to it and we had some good feedback. People were quite impressed by what our students could do.


“Hopefully by Christmas we will have people in their roles ready to start in January.”

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