Digital Innovators WMCA-funded Skills Programme – Highlights from Cohort 1

The first cohort of participants on our Skills Programme, funded by West Midlands Combined Authority, have now completed the Skills Programme! Our course includes an eight week work experience project, working with local employers.

With the next cohort due to start on 25th January, we wanted to highlight the incredible work produced by our students during the first programme. 

Project 1 – Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Combined Authority

Team Excel – Unnati, Lemarl, Kristine and Imaan – worked directly with members of Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Combined Authority and were tasked with identifying and resolving the problems which inhibited effective engagement with young people. The motivation behind this project stems from the fact that despite the clear benefits of participating in programmes such as the Digital Innovators Skills Programme, some of them have been unable to reach young people who would really gain from them. 

This innovative team conducted research and examined their findings closely, identifying issues with website navigation, lack of awareness of programmes and lack of collaboration between stakeholders as key problems preventing the desired engagement with young people. Team Excel then went on to present solutions that will make the process of engaging with young people easier, including an in-depth report, suggested collaborations and a spreadsheet to aid navigation, leaving the employers thoroughly impressed. 

“We’re getting a brilliant blend of problem-insights and solutions, combined with audience awareness and technical solutions, and they are so positive – they listen, respond, adapt, challenge… fantastic!” 

– Tara Verrell, Birmingham City Council.

As a result, Team Excel were invited by Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Combined Authority to present their findings and suggested solutions to their colleagues on the WMCA Digital Skills Programme (DSP) Board on 12th January. 

Congratulations Team Excel!

Project 2 – Psytech

The Psytech Team included Tai, Haleemah, Saheyba and Saffron. Their project with Psytech centred around the concept of using journaling as not only a wellbeing tool, but as practice which could improve personal and professional development, and how this could be incorporated into a software. 

After researching the benefits and common practices associated with journaling, the team then went on to conduct some competitor analysis, research into product branding and market research. Their findings were then compiled into the production of an app prototype which incorporated Psytech’s Career-Fit analysis and would enable the user to practice journaling – including listing their achievements, setting personal and professional goals and completing activities which would help them to recognise their own progress. 

The team’s efforts were clearly evident throughout this project and came to fruition in their final presentation, with a well-thought-out product proposal, with research to accompany it and to explain the reasoning behind design and features. 

John Kilvington, director of Psytech UK and Ireland, spoke very highly of his experience working with the team:

“That was one of the best examples of practical, innovative and creative thinking I have had the privilege to witness for a long time. It is extraordinary that they have gained such insight on a very complex area in such a short time.”

Well done team!

Project 3 – Vanti

Team Vanti – Sharanjeet, Adeesa and Kiera – were tasked by Vanti to conduct some thorough market research ahead of the launch of Kahu, their suite of technology products designed to support a flexible modern workplace. Staff at Vanti had tried to complete their market research for some time, but lacking the capacity for such an enormous task, they turned to Digital Innovators. 

Over a period of 8 weeks, Team Vanti delved into this challenge and began an in-depth analysis of competitors and their products. Their findings were compounded into an extensive report and accompanying spreadsheet for references and additional information. The results compared price ranges, product offerings, publicly displayed profit of companies, core features of products, extra features, the level of engagement with the competitors, their website features and more.  

The staff at Vanti have expressed their joy at having the Digital Innovator’s Skills Programme students take on this challenge as it will be vital in terms of pinpointing Kahu’s unique selling points in comparison to its competitors, as well as pitching and selling, deciding price points, and choosing areas to develop into.  

“We love working with Digital Innovators. We have been super impressed with the depth and breadth of research the students have undertaken, as well as the speed in which they’ve picked up an understanding of the market.”

James Garrington, Vanti

Great job Team Vanti!

The next Digital Innovators WMCA-funded Skills Programme begins on 25/01/2021! Don’t miss your chance to work with leading employers and kickstart your career!

To find our more about our Skills Programme and the projects you could be involved in, or to register for an upcoming course, click here.

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