Ron Dearing UTC students are helping to create a dedicated mobile app to collate experiences and additional qualifications achieved during their time at the school.
Created by smart tech company Sauce, one of Ron Dearing UTC’s Major Partners, the app is currently in the design stage and will capture the broad range of experiences students are involved in.
Everything from mock interviews, cultural and enrichment activities and employer-led projects to CV writing workshops, personal branding sessions, professional qualifications and more will be included and logged on the app, collating the achievements of each student in one place.
The aim is to ensure every student has an accurate record of their experiences, which they can include in job, apprenticeship or university applications, showcasing the wide range of activities and qualifications they have completed.
As the design progresses, the app will be tested by existing students and launched in time for the September 2023 student intake.
About 20 students from all year groups are attending regular sessions at Sauce’s offices in Hull’s Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) tech hub in the city’s Fruit Market, with groups including product owners, marketeers and designers, beta testers and user experience (UX) designers who will look at how the app functions.
Former Ron Dearing UTC students who have been employed as trainee developers by Sauce will also work on the app as the design progresses.
Lisa Regan, Assistant Principal – Professional Qualifications at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “The Ron Dearing UTC app is an excellent way to collate all of the experiences the students have achieved and will enable them to look back on it when they’re applying for their next move.
“We offer a very broad range of opportunities for our students to add to their employability skills and the app will help them to keep track of any gaps they may need to address.
“The students involved in creating the app all applied to play their part and they’re studying a range of subjects, not just digital.
“They’re gaining agile skills and learning from the fantastic Sauce team in a real working environment while creating something that will hopefully benefit students for many years to come.
“It’s brilliant to know our former students, who are employed by Sauce, will inspire our current students and we can’t thank Sauce enough for all the support they’re providing. This is a shining example of a fantastic employer-led project, drawing on our students’ digital, technology and creative skills.”
Sauce is an award-winning business specialising in working with large, traditional companies as their digital partners, creating innovative solutions to key business challenges across multiple sectors to keep them ahead of the technology curve.
Jim Wardlaw, Chief of Product and Design at Sauce, said: “The students are driving the solution and we’re giving them the opportunity to be a client in an agile development process.
“The students are behind the vision for the app and what goals they want it to achieve as product owners.
“Ron Dearing UTC students partake in lots of experiences and they have to convert that into a CV to impress potential employers or universities. It’s not easy to remember everything they’ve done, so the app will help to bring it all together in one place.
“We’re really impressed with how last year’s graduates have progressed with Sauce so far and this is a good chance for us to get to know some of the students who’ll graduate next year, as we’re looking to employ more trainees.”
The app could also act as a points tracker for sixth form students which can be redeemed against incentives such as driving lessons.
Year 13 student Ben Garner, 17, who is studying Computer Science at Ron Dearing UTC’s sixth form, is part of the team working on the app.
He said: “Planning an app while working with a Major Partner is encouraging me to look at app design as a potential career and I’d love to work at Sauce. It’s great to work with the team in their office and see former Ron Dearing UTC students working there.”
Fellow Year 13 Computer Science student George Braithwaite, 17, who is also part of the app team, said: “We’ve planned what we want the app to achieve using wireframes and created designs for how it will look.
“I like the fact we’re creating the base of the app and it can be worked on for years to come and we’re getting a good understanding of agile working. It’s giving us hands-on experience in an industry environment.”