Workhouse partners with Blackburn College to develop Lancashire’s student creatives

Blackburn college tutors and students pose with Mark and Martin from Workhouse

We’re excited and enthusiastic about having again committed to using our resources and knowledge to help develop the creative students at Blackburn College. The programme has been revamped for 2018 to focus more on providing students with real agency experience, and will also now see us having input into curriculum development to ensure the graduates are learning the new skills needed in modern agency life.

Workhouse and Blackburn College have enjoyed a relationship for a number of years after we gained education hub partnership back in 2016 after 4 successful years of informal collaboration. During this time, we have employed a number of graduates from the college’s university programmes, many of whom still work with us today.

The students are invited in pairs to join us for 2 days’ worth of experience working alongside our Senior Creative, Mark Armer who heads up the project from our end. Students work on mock briefs that are based on the real briefs from our own client list, which includes Crown Paints, Stax Trade Centres and not-for-profit charity, Climbers Against Cancer.  

The experience starts with a tour of Workhouse HQ, followed by a creative briefing by the accounts teams. From there they take part in brainstorming and style development sessions before getting to work on the brief itself. Once complete, the work is given feedback from the account handlers, the opportunity for a round of amends and then final critique.

Mark discussed his passion for the project, saying: “The objective of holding student placements is to give them the opportunity to experience real commercial work, but also for Workhouse to see what young, local talent we have in the area. Educational links are important to us, not only for sourcing local creative talent but also giving the students valuable knowledge to take away and apply to their future careers.”

“It’s a great stepping stone for any learning designer and we were more than welcoming to the opportunity to have them work here.”

Jenna Gardner, Academic Subject Leader for Art and Design at University Centre at Blackburn College, reiterated the importance and value of maintaining external relationships, saying: “The BA (Hons) Graphic Communication degree students not only gain first-hand industry experience at Workhouse Marketing but also enjoy the vibrancy and creativity that being in the studio offers. Many of the creative team at Workhouse are Blackburn graduates and we are delighted to see this excellent partnership continuing into another year.”

“Mark has visited the campus studio, delivered a talk to the degree students, reviewed their applications for placements and has even assisted with assessments and critiques. We are proud to be working so closely with Mark and the team at Workhouse Marketing”.

Blackburn College staff, John Harrison, Nicholas Hall and Jenna Gardner recently joined Workhouse at their Ribchester HQ to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, a formal agreement that cements the relationship and outlines both parties commitment going forward.

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