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

Article


Riley, T. 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. https://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-08-2016-0063
TypeArticle
TitleWork-based learning for the creative industries: a case study of the development of BA (Hons) web design and social media
AuthorsRiley, T.
Abstract

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.

KeywordsDegree apprenticeships; Higher apprenticeships; Creative careers; Web media production
LanguageEnglish
PublisherEmerald
JournalHigher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning
ISSN2042-3896
Publication dates
Print13 Feb 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited13 Mar 2017
Accepted30 Nov 2016
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited. This AAM is provided for your own personal use only. It may not be used for resale, reprinting, systematic distribution, emailing, or for any other commercial purpose without the permission of the publisher

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-08-2016-0063
Web of Science identifierWOS:000396834000007
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