Featured: experiences outside the classroom and collaboration with partners

Working closely with partners – either to offer experiences in-centre or outside the classroom – is something we’re passionate about at Morley.

By way of example, at the Chelsea Centre for Creative Industries:

  • We are beginning a collaboration with the Design Museum, with our lecturers delivering workshops to the public.
  • Unloc Enterprise Academy have provided an 8-week Business and Enterprise course for this term. They learnt about how to set up their own business with the help of external agencies like the Portobello Business Centre.
  • This month, Morley’s art students have been designing and painting a mural requested by a primary school in north London.
  • Goldfinger design have provided workshop visits, and a creative brief to our 3D design students this term.  
students standing together
Chelsea student volunteers for Kensington and Chelsea Art week

Elissa Porter, Work Experience and Enrichment Officer, gave us insights into her role, student experiences and how you can apply.

What inspired you to take on the position of Work Experience and Enrichment Officer?  

I’ve always been drawn to supporting young people in reaching their career aspirations. In my previous role, I supported university students in both the academic and pastoral development.

One key competent of this was supporting students in securing work experience. Through work experience, students can develop their employability skills, apply their academic knowledge, and gain a deeper understanding of themselves, as well as their career aspirations.

College-based work experience is often a student’s first exposure to the working world, so it’s important they feel as supported and prepared as possible, and I’m keen to support with this.   

What is the Work Experience and Enrichment programme, and what are its primary objectives?  

The primary objective of the WEX programme at the Chelsea Centre is to help students aged 16-19 secure 14 hours of work experience each academic year.

Specifically, we aim to support students in finding work experience that is specific to their creative interest. I support students with independently sourced work experience, directing them to new opportunities, and source employer creative briefs for the entire class to participate in.

This term, enrichment has taken the form of industry talks, visiting a furniture design workshop, and an 8-week business enterprise scheme. We are currently developing an exciting enrichment programme for the next academic year.  

student sitting at table
Creative Discovery L3 student Esme attending an afternoon tea event hosted by Unloc.
What are the key benefits for students participating in the programme?  

Students who complete work experience return to their programmes with increased energy and motivation for their studies. Work experience makes their course a reality and provides clear goals and pathways to their future career.

Completing work experience often requires the students to be brave and operate outside of their comfort zone. While scary, this is the perfect environment to develop confidence and self-belief, and to dispel any imposter syndrome that is common in early career creatives.

For enrichment, the key benefit is engaging with peers outside of the classroom setting, which develops sense of belonging and the improves the community feel at the Chelsea Centre.   

Can you share any success stories or feedback from students who have participated in the programme?  
student holding tote bag

We have had a successful collaboration with the leading education nonprofit organisation Unloc this term. We hosted an 8-week Business scheme called the Unloc Enterprise Academy. The students learnt about all aspects of starting and creating a small business, from branding to finance.

The students developed their business ideas with support from representatives from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Goldfinger Designs, the Portobello Business Centre and designer Yaku Stapleton, and finished the programme by presenting a ‘Dragons Den’ style pitch to the group.

The students enjoyed the course, and felt it expanded their career goals by applying their creative interests to business and enterprise.

One student commented ‘I’ve developed public speaking skills and confidence, as I’ve never done anything like this before’. Another said ‘It was inspirational to hear from diverse people in the creative sector’. Pictured is one student modelling a prototype tote bag from their bespoke design business.   

How can students get involved in the Work Experience and Enrichment programme?  

Students can get involved with Work Experience opportunities throughout the year! Opportunities are advertised on each programme’s Teams page, and I often come into classes to present opportunities to the whole class.

Students can also engage in Work Experience through whole-class live creative briefs.

We are working on a diverse and exciting enrichment scheme for the next academic year, so keep a look out in September and get involved!