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.
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.
“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.”