Employer Engagement @ UTC

Agility Works @agilityworks come over to @UTCMediaCityUK to inspire our students

AgilityWorks are a leading UK based consulting practice with a passion to help their clients deliver substantive business improvement through successful application and technology solution deployment.

They have bases all around the world and centralised UK offices in Manchester and Oxford. We here at UTCMediaCityUK are very lucky to have had one of their designers over to inspire our students.

AgilityWorks believe that innovation is critical for the “digital” enterprise and many of their customer projects have been recognised as market leading. Their mission: Is to help every customer implement agile enterprise solutions that deliver substantive business improvement.

In many respects – we at UTC@MediaCityUK share their vision. We are all about innovation in education and about how we help our students gain the very best advantage that our connections in the digital industries can provide them.

So it was lovely to have Anthony Cook UX/UI Designer at AgilityWorks, come over and inspire our students with his wisdom. An opportunity he relished as he says:

“Thanks for welcoming me this afternoon and allowing me to engage with your students. It gave me the opportunity to talk about the role that I perform and how important it is when producing any kind of interactive media.”

Antony from AgilityWorks pic 6

This is what we here at UTC@MediaCityUK are all about – we want to make sure our students be that in film and TV, radio and sound, graphics and animation or mobile gaming and interactive media. All have a solid understanding of the real world and real work environments. We strive to engage with our students and teach them things that they will use in the real world and make sure they understand the realities of working in the industry they want to come into.

We have some amazing students. As Antony says:

I was really impressed with the work they have produced, in only a couple of weeks. Its encouraging to see so many talented kids.

Thanks again to Antony and to AgilityWorks whom we would love to work with again in the future. We are hoping next that a couple of lucky students will be doing a site visit and maybe even work experience in the summer. With a live brief competition to be held at UTCMediaCityUK to maybe decide this.

Watch this space….

Is your child finding there school is not for them? Is it not digital or technical enough? Would you like them to study their A Level’s in a college like no other – with industry led professionals and state of the art facilities? Apply to UTCMediaCityUK and they can study their A-levels alongside one of our four technical specialist courses.

Click here –

Places are free but limited due to the high number of applications we receive.

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‘Stepping Outside of your Comfort Zone’ with Founder of @PRWD @PaulRouke at UTC@MediaCityUK

Entrepreneurship, imposter syndrome & ‘the Law of Attraction‘. Just three of the many pillars that Founder & CEO of successful ‘Conversion Rate Optimization‘ agency, PRWD, Paul Rouke has had vast experience of during his career. Mr. Rouke came along to UTC@MediaCityUK with a pre-prepared talk all about self-belief, motivation and escaping the dreaded ‘comfort zone’.


Having struggled on deciding on what he wanted to do in the early days of his career, he wanted to give as much advice as possible to the young students of UTC@MediaCityUK. One huge piece of advice was harnessing the power of the ‘Law of Attraction’ on a daily basis, something that the students haven’t heard of before the talk. Paul instructed the students to go ahead and watch a video on YouTube that he wishes had been available for him to view when he was young.

‘Imposter syndrome’ is something Paul also talked about, which is the belief…

“…that concept describing high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud’…”

So it’s something that can hold you back in not only your career but your life too! He included ‘6 ways to no longer be held back by your imposter’

  • Realise you’re not alone
  • Realise you’re in very, very good company
  • Talk openly to people
  • Don’t compare yourself to others that have more experience than you
  • Turn it into a positive for your life
  • Talk to children about this

To combat imposter syndrome or to understand the concept a lot more, ‘The Chimp Paradox’ is a book that Paul highly recommended to the students & I’m sure they’re looking on Amazon as we speak!


For more information, follow this link to see Paul’s blog regarding Imposter Syndrome


Paul also spoke to the students regarding his entrepreneurship and his journey to starting up his business, PRWD. He reflected back on the past 11 years since he started his company in his own bedroom, the struggles he went through & how if you are fully focused on something you should never give up.

“…It’s better to be one inch wide & many miles down than to be ten inches wide & one inch deep…”


A handful of students stayed behind to ask Paul some questions they’ve been waiting to ask, I was surprised at the amount of patience Paul displayed with the students as he really wanted to get to the root of the questions & help as much as he could, even the possibility of work experience for some students. This is something Mr. Rouke prides himself on; giving opportunities to people… Now that he’s got to where he wanted to be from the early days in his bedroom, he believes that it’s time to give back.

How ambitious & motivated are you?

There will be a short video showcasing the highlights of Paul’s talk uploaded in the coming days so you are able to see how motivating it really was.


All of us from UTC@MediaCityUK thank Paul Rouke for coming in for this incredible talk & we hope to be in contact again in the future.

If you know a young person aged between the ages of 16-18 that want to become a part of the next generation in Creative & Digital Media in the North-West, then click the image below to apply to UTC@MediaCityUK!

Apply Now!


Written by,

James Wood

Social Media & Digial Marketing Apprentice




The Future of Education Roundtable at @UTCMediaCityUK

On the morning of Wednesday 10th of May 2017, UTC@MediaCityUK were privileged to host the ‘Future of Education Round-table’ event. We had a great panel of experts & thought leaders that made the journey here to start their day off with an innovative debate. All who attended, shared in enthusiastic discussion regarding the titled topic, relating it to Digital & Creative Media. They identified that there is a skills gap in the digital creative industry & to actually fill this gap, they inputted and commented on each opinion and decided what they are going to do about it, going forwards.

Breakfast event

Here is a full list of thought leaders who were here:

Joe Gosling & Samson OwolabiBearded Fellows

Billy Henshaw  – Seventy7Group

Avi D JacobsonSDMG

Naomi TimperleyTechNorthAdvocates

Jon CornerThe Landing

Lynne Makinson-WalshDreamr

Gillian Sherwood –  The Lowry

Neil FowlerUniversity of Salford

“A young person has all the ideas in the world and to encourage these via education, a great teacher must be a great coach” – Samson Owalabi from Bearded Fellows

Our Principal & host; Sharon Gardner started off the event with asking the vital questions, “what can we do regarding the skills gap, how do the Creative Industries as well as your individual companies view education as a whole and what do the Creative Industries really need?”

All attendees made interesting points made from these questions and were all informative. One being, “Creative thinking & entrepreneurial skills should be within the school curriculum”  and to partner with this, the live briefs that UTC@MediaCityUK conduct in partnership with many different companies.

Avi from Super Duper Media Group thinks that students should be given “full ownership of live briefs, as they can be praised when things go right but also take responsibility when things go wrong… Any short failure will help and creativity derives from failure“.


So UTC@MediaCityUK and others are going to take all outcomes on board & come up with one plan that enables young people to express their ideas in an entrepreneurial method as well as supporting all of their existing skills & introducing them to ‘soft skills’.

Please note: There will be videos uploaded soon to our Facebook regarding this event!

If you want to become a part of the next generation in Creative & Digital Media in the North-West, then click the image below to apply!

Apply Now!

Written by,

James Wood

Social Media & Digial Marketing Apprentice

BBC Research & Development Workshop

On Monday the 8th of May 2017, Libby Miller and her team from the Research & Development department of the BBC (BBC R&D) made the journey up from London to put on an fun-filled workshop for our students.

The BBC R&D are a department who look 10-15 years into the future of television & came to UTC@MediaCityUK in order to see our students share ideas about how they think television will be watched in homes across the globe in 10-15 years time and we saw some brilliant ideas!


Our students dubbed this event as the most ‘hands-on’ workshop they’ve ever experienced at UTC@MediaCityUK and with this event, they gained some invaluable life skills in such a short space of time; team-work, creating plans & executing these plans – to create the future of television!

Below are some of these brilliant creations from the students, my personal favourite is ‘The Egg – Rebirth of Interactivity’ which produces ‘Star Wars’ like holograms on walls which users can pick out and ‘fling’ to the wall, as it splatters on the wall, the television show starts!

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Special thanks to the BBC R&D department for coming up to us here at UTC@MediaCityUK & we hope that our students helped further your innovative research, maybe we will see ‘The Egg’ in living rooms across the U.K one day!

If you want to become part of the next generation in Creative & Digital Media in the North-West, then click the image below to apply!

Apply Now!.png

Written by,

James Wood

Social Media & Digial Marketing Apprentice

How do I get into the Media Industry?

We all hear it time and time again that in order to gain experience in a working environment you need to have experience and that just leaves you in a never ending (not very useful) cycle!Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 14.37.33.png

The title says ‘media industry’ but we all know that’s a term used extremely loosely and in fact working in ‘the media’ now covers hundreds of areas. That’s why colleges like ours are booming and becoming increasingly successful as we create professional working environments for our students to learn in. This means our students whether they leave us in Year 11 after their GCSEs or in Year 13 after their BTECs and A Levels, will be ready to step out into the industry area of their choice and develop their skills that they’ve gained at UTC.

The media industry is a competitive sector and often getting your first break comes from doing un-paid work experience…. but many people say how can I gain experience if I’ve never had any before? That’s where our employer engagement team come in! At UTC@MediaCityUK we pride ourselves on our working relationships with industry companies from all sectors. Being located at MediaCityUK definitely has its advantages however word of mouth has proved incredibly successful too!

Our students have worked with companies from all areas on live briefs and gained work experience from showing dedication, high quality skills and professional attitudes towards projects. We recently wrote about David Hughes, a year 11 student who did a weeks placement with GAS Music in The Landing. This is just one example of how our links with industry partners allow students to gain valuable experience from just 14 years old.

UTC@MediaCityUK offers students more than typical schools and colleges do, we can get young people work-ready and linked up to Universities, Apprentices, Mentoring Schemes and more so they have a foot in the door ready to take the media industry by storm.


Join us this September in Year 12 and get yourself ready for a successful career in TV, Film, Radio, Audio, Graphics or Gaming! 

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Fates Academy at UTC@MediaCityUK!

Have you heard?! UTC@MediaCityUK are the hosts of Fates Academy! We are very excited to have Gareth and Faye on board with us and we know the students have been eager to sign up!


Gareth Gates (Pop Idol) and Faye Brookes (Coronation Street) have joined forces to create a brand new Performing Arts school in the heart of MediaCityUK, Manchester.

They’ve partnered with UTC@MediaCityUK to bring children of 5 – 16+ years the very best insight into what it takes to be successful on
stage and screen.

Classes will be held at the UTC building every Tuesday, 4:30pm – 7:30pm. Where they will be taught the 3 fundamental elements of performing arts; Singing, Dancing and Acting.

For more info please contact the Fates Academy Team;

Gareth and Faye are offering 4 of our students scholarships to the academy and we will be awarding them this week.

Gareth and Faye joined us yesterday to talk to students about Fates and how to sign up!




We at UTC@MediaCityUK get a Royal Visitor for our Talent and Skills Day.

The Duke Of York visited us on 17th March and met with our students from UTC@MediaCityUK as part of #ThinkUTC day. HRH Prince Andrew was our guest of honour at our UTC@MediaCityUK Talent and Skills Day, which gave our students the opportunity to show the digital community of the North West that there is no shortage of talent to feed in to the technology sector.

Duke Of York Meets IMG Students Small

Not only did our students showcase their work (as above with the mobile games made by RUSH Mobile – a team of our IMG students) but their work also became showcased.

As our students were allowed to film and photograph His Royal Highness for the occasion. In fact the pictures in this blog – are from the students themselves.

Prince Andrew met students studying in each of the UTC’s pathways during his tour of the state of the art facilities at the college. All part of the #ThinkUTC national awareness day.

The Mayor Students Reception Small

He was joined by local dignitaries (above) including:

  • The High Sheriff (Lady Joy Smith),
  • The Worshipful Mayor of Salford (Councillor Karen Garrido)
  • and The City Mayor of Salford (Paul Dennett.)

The guests also had a chance to meet employer partners from the creative and digital communities who closely support the teaching of each of the pathways at the UTC, including small tech start-up RooCru , the BBC and ITV.

Duke Of York Meets Our Sponsors Reception SmallThe Duke met the UTC’s sponsors:

  • The University of Salford,
  • The Lowry
  • The Aldridge Education,
  • And Charles Parker from the Baker Dearing Trust, founders of the UTC movement nationally.

He saw UTC students showcasing their live briefs and show reels as he toured the campus. Matt Tiplady, a year 13 student said:

“It was great opportunity for us to showcase our work to our partners and also employers in the Manchester digital community through the attention HRH the Duke of York’s visit has received.”

The Duke Of York Meets James Medd from The Landing at UTC Media City Small

James Medd (above) of the local business hub The Landing said:

“Working with these young people has been a joy, their enthusiasm for the different work we have done with them has been infectious. They are a credit to their teachers and college. We were very proud to be able to present our work with them to His Royal Highness.”

Beki Martin CEO of Aldridge Foundation introduced the Prince to two student businesses and one community project which use the UTC’s Enterprise Hub facilities.

His Royal Highness concluded the tour by giving a talk as part of #ThinkUTC day, which was filmed by the students to share with other UTCs nationally.

HRH Prince Andrew said:

“This UTC is like no other I have visited. The skills you are delivering to students are preparing them to such an advanced level that they may not go to university, but straight into employment.” And:

The Principal Sharon Gardner said:

“In our second year, it is fantastic to celebrate the talent and skills being developed here with our students. Visitors, partners and sponsors have all been impressed by the level of technical skill, maturity and creativity at work. Testament to this is that we have Year 13 students with offers from prestigious university departments, including an offer from Oxford University.”

The UTC@MediaCityUK students took the pictures and produced the video of the Duke of York’s talk and interview.

About UTC:

University Technical Colleges are a new concept in education. They offer 14-18 year olds the opportunity to take a highly regarded, full time, technically-oriented course of study. They are equipped to the highest standard, sponsored by a university and offer clear progression routes into higher education or further learning in work. The UTC movement is led by the Baker Dearing Trust and for more information about the national programme, please visit

iDEA – The Duke of York Award

What’s the big iDEA?

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 10.48.09

iDEA is a national project that helps you badge your brilliance. Through the series of online challenges and events, you can win career-enhancing badges, unlock new opportunities and, ultimately, gain nationally recognised awards that help you stand out from the crowd.

The challenges are split into four main categories, each with its own series of badges to be won – citizen, worker, maker and entrepreneur. As well as being fun, these badges will help you show off what you’ve learned and could, when the time comes, help you land the job you want.

Turning their learning into earning…

When students have taken enough badges in each of the categories, they can gain iDEA Bronze Award – a recognised symbol of their hard work, determination and skill. Students will then be able to take new challenges and badges that will unlock a Silver Award and then, the ultimate prize, the iDEA Gold Award!

On Tuesday 7th March, Naomi Timperley and Adam Mitcheson visited UTC@MediaCityUK to launch iDEA with our students. We will be supporting students to get involved and start their bronze awards now!

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@Dock10 teach our students about the new world of 360 video and #VR.

Dock 10 are legends in MediaCityUK and beyond. Five years ago the Queen herself came to officially open their studios and ever since then they have dedicated themselves to making sure their HUGE portfolio of  clients create, manage and deliver high quality content.

They are always ahead of the game when it comes to technology. Which is why we were so happy when their Head of VR – Richard Wormwell came over to inspire our students with the new world of content and especially VR.

Dock 10 are heavily moving into this new world and so UTCMediaCityUK are hopefully going to be part of this journey. As we provide the next generation of talent into their pipeline for both content producers and technical workers. Richard’s talk didn’t disappointing with more than 100 of our students attending.

Pictures for Dock 10 of Richard head of VR and our year 10 students pic 2

With many of them asking questions.

As well as them – seeing the most up to date technology – and having a go.

As Dock 10 say:

“Content producers looking to explore the possibilities of 360 virtual reality will find a one-stop shop for VR production at our studios. Our recent credits for 360VR content include The Voice and The Soundcheck. We’re a 360VR factory, ready to help you produce ground-breaking immersive content”


  • Managing the capture
  • Stitching suites
  • Post – grade and dub
  • Data storage and archive solutions
  • 40+ team of engineering specialists
  • MAM content management

Dock 10 manage content including 360VR from major broadcasters, independent production companies, digital agencies and global corporations.

They deliver thousands of content hours every year to broadcasters and cloud platforms for web and mobile distribution around the world. With a large, experienced and highly qualified team, we’re dedicated to making sure content creators can reap the benefits of this innovative format.

So who better to have over as our employer engagement partner to UTCMediaCity? Hopefully they can fit us in next term we will have Richard and other people over again. Or perhaps some of our students might even go to their new VR rooms?

Who knows…. but with the real potential of a VR part of the course or added enrichment days for our IMG and graphics pathways – the new world is their oyster.

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