STEP UP

When opportunity knocks,
answer with ambition

Connecting students, schools and businesses to boost employability in the UK

Step Up is a brand new project designed to improve the delivery of school level employability initiatives in Cambridgeshire, and beyond. Step Up provides students with a choice of experiencing what it is like to work in a particular industry or employment field by connecting businesses that are offering opportunities to students, with schools who are looking for opportunities for their students. As well as naming and branding the new initiative, Onespacemedia designed and built a modern and intuitive web application that provides a range of tools to accelerate the process of connecting students with opportunities. The initiative is being championed by Cambridge Ahead and The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (GCCP LEP) with plans underway to expand to other UK regions.

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Wide-ranging consultation and stakeholder engagement

The project began with a wide ranging consultation with various stakeholders from business and academia to determine how we would leverage web design and digital technology to bridge the gap between education and the commercial world. After determining the objectives, we set to work putting a specification for the new web application together, complete with wireframe prototypes to help communicate the vision. We also held workshops to help us shape the brand.

Creating a strong brand personality

The Step Up brand needs to appeal to a diverse range of audiences across commercial and academic sectors so when we considered the name and design we knew it needed to be fresh and dynamic - and that it should inspire action. Our graphic design team created a clever typographic logo, vibrant colour scheme and associated imagery and messaging that represents Step Up as a progressive and ambitious brand. The brand is perfectly balanced to appeal to students, teachers and business leaders alike.

stepup-words

“We are thoroughly enjoying working with the team at Onespacemedia. They have worked hard to understand the brief and the challenges businesses and schools face and have brought significant creativity and intellect to the project.”

Angela Rushforth, Managing Director, Ridgeons

An intelligent directory of schools, businesses and opportunities

The Step Up web application is based on a relational database of people, schools, businesses and opportunities. The application management system allows objects to be categorised in a variety of ways to help users find what they are looking for quickly. Business logic under the hood links everything together and helps to present information to site visitors intuitively.

Demonstrating impact and engagement

It was imperative that systems to track impact and engagement were built into the Step Up web application from the outset. The Onespacemedia web development team created a statistics engine that tracks and records a variety of metrics such as opportunity views, completed opportunities, profile views, enquiries and more. The application communicates relevant data sets to different types of users to prove the effectiveness of the initiative at school or business level. At a macro level we can look at trends across regions and sectors which will be an important factor as the initiative is scaled to other regions.

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Staying up to date with the latest opportunities

To ensure that users can stay up to date with relevant opportunities, and to build traffic and engagement, we designed an automated notification system that sends emails out based on a users preferences. For example, if a student is interested in opportunities from a particular industry, the student will receive an email whenever new opportunities that meet the criteria are posted to the web application.

Building trust and demonstrating effectiveness

The Step Up team has a range of digital tools to build interest, prove effectiveness and build trust. These tools include a news and case studies module that allow the team to post regular updates about the Step Up ecosystem and to create longer case studies that highlight some of the success stories of the initiative. Combined with social media tools, Step Up have a powerful suite of tools to build engagement.

Responsive web design and development

Like all Onespacemedia websites and web applications, Step Up is fully responsive and designed and developed to the highest. Users enjoy a seamless experience whether accessing the application from a mobile, tablet or desktop device. With a diverse user base and a large segment made up of young people it was critical that we delivered an intuitive and engaging mobile experience.

“We have been impressed by Onespacemedia’s approach to the project and their ability to bring a brand together that empathises so well with three very different key audiences – businesses, schools and pupils. We are excited by this project, the website will be a valuable tool for developing a worthy relationship between schools, their pupils and the all-important world of work.”

Jane Paterson-Todd MBA, CEO, Cambridge Ahead

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