Carving a creative career can be a competitive game but a unique opportunity has opened up to creatives in the North East and beyond, thanks to a collaboration between Newcastle College University Centre and the region's digital leaders.

The UK’s first Creative Digital Design Degree Apprenticeship has launched at the University Centre, and from September, will offer the exciting opportunity to gain a degree, learn and practice in-demand creative and technical skills and earn a wage from an employer in the industry.

The three-year apprenticeship has been developed with leading digital organisations including Digital Union, Sunderland Software City, Hedgehog Lab, Cargo Creative, Pebble and Helena Hill Consulting and combines creative areas including typography and graphic design, branding and advertising, fine art and visual communication information and interaction design, photography, data visualisation and moving image.

Apprentices will gain practical skills working in industry and attend Newcastle College University Centre for one day each week either in-person or virtually, as well as during a week-long residential block, to work with the latest immersive technologies and create impactful designs related to digital art, digital graphic design, video, online services and installations. Thanks to its blended learning model, the course is accessible to young people in the North East and right across the country, something that has attracted interest from employers across the UK, including Amazon, DHL, Land Registry and the NHS.

Hannah Matterson, CEO at Digital Union said: “We are thrilled to have come together with Newcastle College University Centre and several of our region’s heads of industry to offer an employer-led course to gain the technical skills we know are in high demand by the digital creative industries in the region.

“This new course also opens up the creative and digital sector to a wider cohort, meaning not just university graduates can get a foot in the door of the industry, but you can also gain a degree-level qualification whilst working in the industry.”

Nicky Turnbull, Director of Higher Education at Newcastle College, said: “We are excited to offer this new course and help develop the next generation of talent for our booming creative and digital sector. The North East has over 29,000 people working in digital and 15,000 in creative which combined contributes over £2bn to our region’s economy* and the sector keeps growing. The high demand for digital design skills using the latest technologies means this innovative, creative course should help these employers meet their growth potential and provide exciting career opportunities for many more young people.”

Applications for the Creative Digital Design Degree Apprenticeship are now open for enrolment in September 2021.