- Created on Friday, 15 June 2012 15:39
AN ANNUAL WEBSITE DESIGN competition at South Devon College has seen the winner offered a position with a top local web design company who guest-judged the competition.
As ITV’s X Factor reached the final stages of its annual search for musical talent before Christmas, the College launched its own annual search for web design talent - ‘The Web Factor’. College students studying Level 3 BTEC National Certificate for IT Practitioners were challenged to create and design a complete website for local businesses and organisations as part of their final project. The students met with their ‘clients’ and discussed ideas for their websites before beginning the project.
The seven finalists – Naomi Adams, Chris Darby, Bonnie Dayment, Dan Dodds, Ellis Kenyo, Martyn Palmer and Poppy Peart - worked with local clients, including: Torquay based fishing and angling products company Anyfish Anywhere; Torquay Harbourside bar The Green Room; Josies Hair and Beauty Collection in Torquay; Paignton second hand bookshop/cafe Epicentre Book-Café; popular South Devon band Big Wave and Harbour View (soon to be renamed ‘Broadway’) theatre-themed restaurant in Torquay.
The eventual winner – first year student Chris Darby (16, from Brixham) - was decided at the Web Factor Final, at the College’s Horizons Restaurant in a lavish ‘X Factor style’ competition finale. Finalists presented their sites in front of a panel of industry professional judges and an audience of invited guests, VIPs, College staff, governors, students and their families. Judges on the night were Vanessa Lewis, Director at marketing and web design company Wildfire Social Media Marketing; Kevin Hughes, Senior Web Developer at South Devon College; and Kevin King, owner of web design and marketing company Createanet. The judges mentored students throughout their project, in a similar format to the X Factor, giving them the benefit of their expertise and in some cases even off-site visits to their companies.
After the final, Kevin King from Createanet was so impressed that he even offered Chris – who won the first prize of an iPad 2 - a work placement with his company. Chris won with his design for The Green Room, joint second place Martyn Palmer (20 from Torquay) and Bonnie Dayment (17, from Torquay) were each awarded an iPod shuffle and iTunes vouchers for their respective websites for Anyfish Anywhere and Josies Hair and Beauty. The 4 runners up each received a £20 HMV voucher.
“Working on exciting projects such as these gives the students real-life work experience which helps both them and the local community,” said Jade Ward, the student’s tutor, “The fact Chris was offered a work placement off the back of this competition is a testament to both his hard work and the College’s determination to build employability skills and work experience that eases the transition from full time learner to employment.”
“The students worked incredibly hard for their project, which has really helped their confidence and given them a valuable experience,” added Ms Ward, “The Web Factor is a fantastic competition and we already have a great deal of interest from local employers for next year.”
The ‘Web Factor’ is an annual event held for the Computing section at the College, previous winners have created websites for the Brixham Chamber of Commerce and the Torbay Coast & Countryside Trusts’ ‘One Planet Food’ project, based at Occombe Farm in Paignton.