Déda Creative Arts Academy Focuses on Employability Skills
Derby College has teamed up with regional dance house Déda in the city’s Cathedral Quarter to broaden students’ employability skills and career opportunities across the creative arts industry.
The Déda Creative Arts Employer Academy is the latest in the Derby College initiative to match students with local businesses and organisations – providing them with work experience, special projects, masterclasses and mentoring.
Performing Arts students, based at the nearby Joseph Wright Centre, already use the studio facilities at Déda which is the region’s dance house focused on fusing dance with contemporary circus and outdoor performance.
As well as rehearsing and performing as part of their BTEC level two and three courses, students have been involved in various projects including the annual Derby Festé.
Eighteen of the students have now joined the Employer Academy and will have additional opportunities to be involved with Déda.
They will have extra performance opportunities to develop their dance performance skills and will also gain a greater insight into the wider career opportunities in the creative arts industry.
They will gain teaching experience with Déda Youth groups - working with children and young people aged four to 19, in a range of styles, techniques, genres and artistic forms from Ballet to Youth Acrobatics.
There will be opportunities to learn more about and gain experience in various job roles from marketing to technical production and to join the group of volunteers undertaking front of house duties for performances by top national and international touring companies with the chance to meet the artists after the shows.
Those planning to progress onto Higher Education will receive help with their UCAS applications. They will also have taster session for the University of Derby BA Hons Dance degree with programme leader and choreographer Alice Marshall. The degree programme is unique in the UK as it is based at Déda with a clear focus on employability in the industry.
Déda Head of Dance Development and Learning Clare Limb said: “We have a strong relationship with Derby College and the Performing Arts courses so it was a natural step to formalise this into an employer academy.
“The University of Derby BA (Hons) Dance degree which is based here is very much focused on employability skills and this will continue through the Employer Academy with Derby College.
“There are a wide range of career pathways in the Creative Arts and the Employer Academy will broaden the students’ outlook on their opportunities whether that be in performing, teaching, choreography, marketing or technical production and venue management.”
Derby College Deputy Principal, Employer and Economic Affairs, April Hayhurst, added: “Nationally around 300,000 people are employed directly in the music, performing and visual arts industry and this number grows significantly year on year.
“The creative arts industry is also a significant element of the region’s tourism industry which is a priority growth sector for the D2N2 local enterprise partnership.
“Working with a highly regarded organisation such as Déda is therefore a valuable way of broadening our students’ horizons and increasing their employability skills for their future careers.”