In light of their recent meeting with the first minister Nicola Sturgeon, SKapade are now launching an education platform of their own. SK Studios owners, Stephen Kirkwood and Steven Galloni, today met with Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, at The Prince’s Trust – where the pair are launching short courses based around the music and events industry, designed to give young people the confidence to go out and seek out their dreams and passions.
The Dumbarton-based team took this opportunity to discuss the deeper issues such as child poverty, mental health, the education system, entrepreneurship and the music business – all subjects which are close to their hearts.
Stephen Kirkwood, a professional DJ who has graced the decks across Europe, said: “It was an honour to meet Nicola today. Having someone with such a lofty position in government listening to – and agreeing with – what we were saying was really something special.
“We, here at SK Studios, are here to support the Scottish Government and the education system on the journey to helping improve the lives of young people in Scotland.
“We see young people every week – through our work with The Prince’s Trust and Young Enterprise Scotland – for whom it hasn’t always worked, within the education system.
“It doesn’t work for everyone – and we want to help everyone, from teachers to employers, understand that.”
The pair used this opportunity to really launch their next venture – SK Education – and hope that will go a great deal towards bridging these gaps, using their brand to reach those young people who are deemed furthest away from further education and employment.
Steven Galloni said: “Over the past 12 months, we have surrounded ourselves with like-minded people, all with varying skills and vast experience behind them, who want the same thing – a brighter future for Scotland. “We all understand that young people are our future, so it was an obvious direction to go in and is already paying off. “We’ve got seasoned live music professionals coming into the classroom and talking to these kids as people, telling them about their own real-life experiences rather than reading out of a textbook. We’ve had some fantastic transformations.”
The pair are currently hosting courses at Young Enterprise and The Prince’s Trust where they are teaching pupils all about the music and events industry, learning everything from marketing and safety to contracts and music production. “We are looking to roll these courses out nationally. The feedback we have had from those who have been through our doors has been fantastic. “Already, one of our students has been accepted to the Royal Conservatoire, which is fantastic news. We urge anyone interested in attending one of these courses, or even if you wish to host one, get in touch.”
Nicola Sturgeon herself even took a short lesson from the team, mixing up some house music much to the delight of everyone in the studio.
Stephen added: “She was a natural, but – more than anything – it showed she was willing to listen and put herself in the position of these young people, go out of her comfort zone and experience something new.
“We’re glad to have had the opportunity to show her our vision for the future and can’t wait to meet again and showcase the progress.”
Judging by the number of journalists from the BBC and STV clambering to grab the pair for interviews today, this will not be the last we hear from them!
You can find out more about SK Studios, and the work they do, by searching for SK Studios or SK Education on all social media channels.