City College Norwich students develop their skills in the workplace for a Norwich Fashion Week fashion shoot

Skin II Norwich Castle fashion shoot by City College Norwich photography students as part of Norwich

Skin II Norwich Castle fashion shoot by City College Norwich photography students as part of Norwich Fashion Week 2013. Photo: Brendan Stewart-Jacks. - Credit: Archant

A fashion shoot gave photography students from City College Norwich the chance to develop their skills in a real-life working environment and now you can see the results of their work. By EMMA HARROWING

Bridging the gap between further education and employment has been a subject widely discussed by business and education communities.

Apprenticeship schemes, work placements and experts coming into colleges and universities have been tried and tested, as many in academia attempt to relate classroom learning to the real world of work.

City College Norwich unveiled its Start-Up Lounge in 2011, a hub of enterprise education for all of its students to access. The aim is to create a next generation of entrepreneurs.

And as fashion becomes increasingly important to the Norwich economy, some City College Norwich students have grasped the opportunity to set up their own fashion label.

As reported in your Evening News, Cocoon launched its second collection at Norwich Fashion Week this year.

It is not just fashion design that is making the transition between leaving the confines of college and stepping out into the world of work easier.

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At Norwich Fashion Week last month, photography students from City College Norwich showcased a Street Style exhibition at The Forum and Norwich Castle.

They also worked alongside experts in the field of fashion to be professional fashion photographers for the day.

The shoot was part of the Skin II event organised by Rachel Trevor at Norwich Castle and a group of young volunteers aged between 16-24.

'The event was organised by young people for young people and photography students from City College Norwich played a part in the day's events,' says Rachel.

'The students showcased their Street Style photography alongside Street Style photographs from our archives dating back to 1985.

'The students also directed a photo-shoot during the event, photographing Norwich Fashion Week models against the dramatic backdrop of the bird gallery in the Castle.' Providing work place opportunities for young people is one of the key aims of Norwich Fashion Week.

The shoot gave aspiring fashion photographers the chance to work on a professional shoot alongside working models and stylists.

Leading the shoot was Norwich vintage stylist, hair and make-up artist Kerry Curl, aka Missy Vintage. Kerry worked alongside the young photographers with Norwich Fashion Week photographer Adrian Farr, making the shoot as realistic as possible.

Kerry gave the students a theme for the shoot - Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Birds' and the young photographers worked with Kerry to style four models - one as the heroine and three as women who had been attacked by the birds.

Photographer Adrian was on hand to offer advice about working with the models, lighting and reflection, but the students were given the opportunity to use and develop their own skills and use their initiative to work to a brief of producing photographs for a fashion shoot that could be used in a publication or online.

Jon Clark, photography course leader at City College Norwich believes that days like these offer invaluable experience for students. 'The Extended Diploma in Photography combines coursework with professional practice which helps train and stretch students as photographers,' says Jon.

'Working with Norwich Fashion Week enables the students to gain experience working for a real client. There are many elements that we can teach them at college but all these elements are put into context as soon as they are faced with a real-life shoot. In particular working with other professional people from models to stylists gives them the confidence and skill to develop as photographers.'