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Derry, Londonderry, United Kingdom, 2010/09/25 - Regional Presentations and Awards of the STEPS to Creativity 2010 Programme took place recently as part of the Showcase Conference at University of Ulster, Magee Campus.
Winnie Shek received 'Northern Ireland's Most Creative Student Award 2010’ for her highly innovative use of creative new media techniques that boosted sales for her placement business, Alive Surf School. It was the development of an e-learning tool for Grafton Recruitment which saw the leading agency win the coveted ‘Northern Ireland STEPS to Creativity Project 2010 Award.’
STEPS to Creativity successfully assisted ten traditional companies throughout Northern Ireland to identify a digital creative project related to their business activity that would benefit from exposure to creative sector expertise. Each business received mentoring from a creative industries professional to scope and assist in the development of the bespoke project. Full time support from a creative industry student, paid by the programme, was also provided to implement the digital project within an eight-week period from July to September 2010. The programme was funded through the Arts Council for Northern Ireland administered Creative Industries Innovation Fund and was managed by the Northern Ireland Business and Innovation Centre (NORIBIC).
The awards recognised the great work carried out by all participants and provided students with an opportunity to ‘showcase’ their projects to a panel of judges. Winner of Northern Ireland's Most Creative Student Award 2010, Winnie Shek, comments on how the programme has benefitted her:
“I developed a social media strategy for Alive Surf School in Portrush which utilised the power of new technologies and creative social media media techniques. It was a great opportunity for me to express my creativity, develop time-management skills, and to push the boundaries both for myself and for Alive Surf School. I have had the chance to build a great network and thanks to the placement now have a number of job offers.”
Winner of the prestigious Northern Ireland STEPS to Creativity Best Project 2010 Award, Grafton Recruitment witnessed the impact of creative new media techniques first hand. Alice Burns, Human Resources Manager of Grafton Recruitment explains:
“With the support of leading creative industry professional, James Cunningham, and the diligent and innovative approach of student, Francis Byrne, the team developed an impressive e-learning tool. In the digital age e-learning is very much becoming the most flexible and cost effective way of training and developing staff. We have been testing the platform for a pilot study, and now plan to roll out across our business later in the year.”
Project Manager, Clare McGee of NORIBIC, congratulates the winners and highlights how the programme has affected participants:
“Through Steps to Creativity, industry professionals have developed new business opportunities, while empowering the next generation of practitioners to get a career start. Students have enhanced their skills, experience and employability by developing a real business project in a real business environment. Businesses reported that utilisation of the new technologies of the creative industry sector has made them more competitive.”
For further information on the programme visit noribic.com or showcaseconf.com/.