Ladder for the Black Country: Digital agency extends commitment to apprenticeships

An award-winning video and animation agency based in Wolverhampton is demonstrating its commitment to providing young people with digital work opportunities by partnering with the BBC Apprentice Hub.

Lucy Plant
Lucy Plant

Stone’s Throw Media has welcomed its first BBC Apprentice Hub learner, Lucy Plant from Sutton Coldfield, on a media production coordinator apprenticeship where she will learn how to create and deliver high quality videos and animations.

The BBC Apprentice Hub offers flexible apprenticeship opportunities in the creative and digital sector in the West Midlands. The programme aims to find local talent to fill much-needed skills gaps in the regions creative, cultural, gaming and digital sectors.

Stone’s Throw Media founders Matt Weston and Mike Chinn have created a positive organisational culture that supports apprenticeships and work-related learning. They want to provide young learners outside of London with the opportunity to thrive and begin their career in digital media in the Black Country region.

The new partnership comes after Stone’s Throw Media was recognised for its work in youth employment by being named Small Business of the Year, while former apprentice Oliver Dutton won Apprentice of the Year in the Tech, Digital and Creative Industries category, both at the Express & Star Apprenticeship Awards 2022.

Matt Weston commented: “We see significant benefits from providing young people with opportunities to enter the digital media sector via an apprenticeship outside of big cities such as London, allowing them to build on-the-job skills and experience as they embark on their career.

“Lucy is our first learner to join us via the BBC Apprentice Hub and we hope to grow the partnership going forward.”

Commenting on her apprenticeship, Lucy Plant said: “I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship with Stone’s Throw Media so far. I have been on a few video shoots and it’s really interesting to see how it’s all put together.

“I have spent time understanding how the systems work, attending meetings and helping the team to plan call sheets.

“I’m pleased to have this opportunity to learn, especially through a Midlands agency when many work experience and apprenticeship programmes are based in London.”

Award winning Oliver Dutton is mentoring Lucy during her time at Stone’s Throw Media. He said:

“Lucy is doing well and settling in nicely. She's been leading a couple of new projects and getting her head around the ins and outs of what makes a successful video project such as creating call sheets, having calls with the customer, and sending new versions of videos quickly.

“She's also been supporting the animation team closely with sourcing voiceover artists for projects and then handling the communication with them. I've been impressed with her willingness to learn and ask questions when something is unclear.”

Stone’s Throw Media was launched in 2011 by founders Mike Chinn and Matt Weston after they met on a University of Wolverhampton media course. The company employs 10 staff, providing services for clients including leading brands such as EasyGroup, Redrow, JLR and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The company was named micro business of the year at the Express & Star Business Awards 2018 and small business of the year at the Express & Star Apprenticeship Awards 2022.

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