Pupils showcase importance of digital skills for careers in Cornwall

March 1, 2021

A group of Cornish school children has produced a series of videos to showcase how digital skills can help young people succeed in a wide variety of careers.

Screen Cornwall were commissioned by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Digital Skills Partnership to manage a work experience placement for 12 students from Redruth School to profile four young people in different careers in Cornwall who all use digital skills as a vital part of their job.

The videos, available here and below, have been launched to coincide with National Careers Week (March 1-6).

The students were facilitated by Falmouth University graduates Jonny Dry and Ella Turner, who have set up their own Cornwall-based production business called Studio Erma.

The Digital Skills Partnership was launched in 2019 by the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership), and is one of just six in the country to secure funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Its role is to champion the importance of digital skills across the economy, which is an important part of the LEP’s Local Industrial Strategy.

The partnership is chaired by Caitlin Gould, Director at Bluefruit Software in Redruth and Co-Founder of TECgirls which has been set up to encourage more girls into the technology, engineering and creative sectors in Cornwall.

Caitlin said: “The work that the students have created with this work experience is remarkable. We have four fantastic videos all created at the highest level of professional quality, not only showing off the range of digital careers in Cornwall but also showcasing the skills of the students from Redruth School who created them.

“One of our goals as a Digital Skills Partnership is to inspire young people to understand how digital skills can help them in a large variety of careers. These videos hit the brief perfectly and we are very keen to continue to work with Screen Cornwall to create digital content like this that we can share with Cornwall and wider afield.”

Teacher Amanda Corker from Redruth School said: “The students had a wonderful time learning all about the stages of producing a film based on a client’s brief and they were so enthusiastic and engaged. Jonny and Ella were knowledgeable and approachable and their genuine love of filmmaking came across in everything we did over the three days. They were happy to answer any questions and they shared their personal experiences as to how they had established their careers in Cornwall.

“This was so refreshing, as the other film ‘career’ lessons and information we have done with the class often seems very much about being based in or around London. “The students left on the final day so excited about how the final product would turn out. Many of them asked about doing a work experience placement in the future.”

Laura Giles, Managing Director of Screen Cornwall, which was set up in 2019 by the LEP and Cornwall Council to grow the region’s screen sector, said: “It was really important to Screen Cornwall that our first virtual work experience scheme wasn’t just an academic or simulated exercise, but a meaningful engagement for the students with a real world brief and a tangible outcome of the four films. Everyone we worked with – from the graduate facilitators to the inspiring young people in the films and the students themselves – gave us a huge amount of confidence in the creativity and digital skills of the younger generation in Cornwall.”

Jonny Dry from Studio Erma said: “This project proves that young people can effectively bring their skills, experience and insight into the real world. Despite having to work remotely over Zoom, they provided valuable input throughout the production process and helped shape the four finished films we now have. It was a joy to work with them.”

Each of the films interviews a young person about their job and why digital skills are important. They showcase different types of careers including hospitality at the Headland Hotel in Newquay; engineering and computer aided design at DP Engineering in Redruth; media at Chaos Group in Truro, and educating people to tackle plastic pollution at Padstow-based community interest company Beach Guardian.


Cafe Chaos – Perrin

Headland Hotel – Josh

DP Engineering – Emily

Beach Guardian – Emily