As we explore ways to ‘BUILD BACK BETTER’ Manchester based social enterprise, Sharp Futures, is offering two training courses that can launch or indeed restart careers

Amidst all recent negative news stories a definite glimmer of hope has emerged as we learn this week that whilst unemployment figures continue to rise the demand for digitally skilled individuals is most definitely on the increase.

SharpFutures, crucially aware of this, is offering interested candidates the chance to flourish in today’s career landscape where ‘CONTENT IS KING’.

The Social Enterprise, founded in 2011 and based at the world-renowned The Sharp Project, is more than living up to its name by looking to the future and offering a range of opportunities to candidates who are keen to pursue careers in this ever-evolving and dynamic sector.

The first is an online transition course for Creative Digital Content makers.  Supported by Fast Track Digital Workforce Fund, a joint venture between DCMS and GMCA the team at SharpFutures has created a bespoke course designed to suit the needs and adaptability required to make it as a short-form content creator.  The course begins in mid-August and runs for 12 weeks.

21-year-old digital content creator, Zain Sattar from Cheetham Hill has benefitted from his time at SharpFutures.

He says, “When I arrived at SharpFutures in 2018 I had a lot of interests but wasn’t really able to identify where they might lead in the future.  Before long however I was able to pursue new interests at the same time as working alongside the team and finding where I was best suited to be involved in the daily business of the company.  Since then I have become adept at Social Media and have run some of our Feeds but not only that – I have discovered a passion for photography which I am now able to pursue and blend into the mix of our work and the content we create for our clients.  I really would recommend this new course to anyone keen to thrive in the creative digital world “

In simplest terms it is about joining the dots and making sure that people are provided with the tools and methodologies to ensure that every message they put out into the world is the best version of itself that it can be.  So for example  – if your Twitter Skills are finely honed but you need to get your filmed footage to work in harmony and perhaps add a dash of graphic or animation magic into the mix this would be the ultimate place to start your journey towards future success.  

The course has been designed for candidates who already have some prior experience of content creation but who want to expand this to include other media.

The masterclasses and creative content briefs will be delivered by Ocean Outdoor UK whose Chief Marketing Officer Richard Malton says,

‘We are absolutely delighted to be working with SharpFutures on long-term skills and development for the Creative Digital industries. Greater Manchester is our biggest conurbation outside London. Renowned for creativity and innovation, the Manchester City-Region is top of our client list too and we have always invested heavily in advertising capacity in this significant locality.’

The course creators hope that this might just be the start of a journey of self-discovery leading to a bright future in one of the most challenging and exciting employment sectors.

The second course SharpFutures has created, Digital Production Management (which runs for 8-16 weeks from mid-September) is a transition course for people with, for example, superb organisational or customer service skills from any sector.  It is designed to enable them to make the jump into the management of creative, digital and tech projects. Once again supported by Fast Track Digital Workforce Fund, a joint venture between DCMS and GMCA this bespoke course gives candidates a greater chance to gain work by reimagining and re-purposing the numerous skills that are always required and will never go out of fashion.

SharpFutures CEO, Rose Marley says, “People don’t realise how valuable their experience is and how easy it is to transfer skills from, for example, gaming to animation, theatre to television, construction to location management, engineering to tech.  It’s all about the language. If you’re on time and on budget the same project management principles apply but the mystifying language of grips, dojos, devs or grading, machine rooms and DITs put people off when they had the skills and capability all along.”

In both cases the journey for candidates, which is only a mouse-click away, could lead to immediate future employment as each graduate will be interviewed for the chance to join SharpFutures whose clients include  ITV, BBC, Cisco and a host of independent film, gaming and TV clients.  The flexibility and attitudes needed for  industry 4.0, the gig economy have all been amplified by the pandemic and it is never too late to become a part of this.

Digital Artist Louise Andrew who has 10 years experience in Theatre and TV and a further 19 years in the games industry is someone who well understands the value of developing and honing transferable skills.

She says, “With a degree in Fine Art, I’ve worked as an Artist my entire life, creating beautiful environments both for Digital Games as well as in Theatre and Television.  I have managed teams of over 40 artists from all disciplines – VFX, UI, Characters, Vehicles, Concepts and Technical Artists and been responsible for scheduling, delivering feedback, staff development and managing art resources.  I absolutely agree that there is a need for a course like the one being offered by SharpFutures.  We need to keep ourselves agile in today’s work environment and by embracing and developing our skills we can be truly open to see where this may lead us in the future.”

To apply to get involved couldn’t be easier. Simply click on the link and derails of both courses are available: https://sharpfutures.org.uk/digital-skills/ The courses can be completed remotely to fit into personal schedules and the team is especially keen to hear from candidates who might struggle to access the world of TV and the media.