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CoLab to launch creative careers

ByGateshead College

Nov 22, 2021

Young people looking to work in the creative sector are now able to gain skills and learn their trade in a way that completely reflects how the industry operates thanks to a new approach by Gateshead College.

CoLab at Gateshead College has been developed to best prepare students for work in the creative sector by providing an experience that replicates the industry’s collaborative culture. The highly immersive way of learning, combined with employer-led live commissions and a team of highly supportive teachers all with strong industry experience, will give Gateshead College students the advantage when it comes to securing work in the sector.

Tom Bradley, head of visual and performing arts at Gateshead College and CoLab lead, said: “Collaboration is key in the creative industries and CoLab will give all of our students crucial experience of working together across the broad and varied creative course areas to apply their skills as they would in industry.

“CoLab will benefit students across all creative courses from media make-up and production arts to dance and digital journalism. By collaborating with other students from different courses they’ll learn how the industry works and have the opportunity to work within multi-disciplined teams to realise live commissions and multimedia projects.

“At Gateshead College we help our students to gain the employment edge – the perfect combination of real world skills and high standards of education. CoLab is an excellent example of how we do this and I’m so excited to welcome our first CoLab students in September.”

An example CoLab project would be a media student hosting a casting call for performing arts students to act in their short film with make-up done in-house by the media make-up artists, lit by production arts students and with an original soundtrack created and mixed by student musicians and producers.

CoLab students will be based at Baltic Campus where they’ll benefit from the college’s partnership with PROTO – Gateshead’s emerging technology centre which specialises in innovative digital production, while Gateshead Quays’ £260m arena complex is being built across the road, providing plenty of work experience and opportunities .

Alan Fairholm is a film and television line producer who has worked in media and TV for the past 30 years. He said: “Having collaboration opportunities right through from the early stages of the learning process is absolutely crucial because this really is how the industry works.

“It will not only improve the students’ employability and understanding of the industry, it will also provide plenty of experience of seeing how collaboration works and how critical it is for each person to fulfil their role for any project to be successful. This is going to be so beneficial when they qualify and I can’t wait to see the student outcomes.”

On launching the new initiative post-covid, Tom added: “Creative industries have really suffered during the pandemic but it is a sector built on innovation, creativity and high levels of resilience. Through CoLab we’re preparing the next generation of talented, driven and ideas-filled young people who can go on to join what I believe will be a renaissance period for the arts.”

For more information and to enrolls on a CoLab course, visit: http://www.gateshead.ac.uk/colab