UK businesses are being urged to sign up to a new apprenticeship scheme being pioneered by agency Rapp UK, designed to give young people who have experienced homelessness a break in the creative industry.
The Ready Initiative has been created through a partnership between Rapp, homelessness charity Centrepoint and education specialist Creative Pioneers and has been designed to give those from a disadvantaged background the skills and aptitude to flourish in any creative workplace, not just advertising and marketing agencies.
Rapp chiefs met with government legislation advisors and Cardiff University professors specialising in youth housing, homelessness and pathways for vulnerable people, to understand how could create lasting opportunities.
Centrepoint, which supports young people who have experience of homelessness, will help to recruit the candidates and after setting them a brief to test their creative potential, Rapp will shortlist candidates to take forward to spend time in the agency.
The candidates will spend three weeks working across different parts of the creative department and present back what they have learnt at the end. One will be taken forward to the apprenticeship scheme and the remaining candidates will receive career coaching and support.
The successful apprentice will be enrolled on the Creative Pioneers Junior Content Producer course. This involves spending a day each week learning about art direction, copywriting, video production, social media, blogging, and content creation skills.
The 15-month salaried apprenticeship includes working on live briefs, the ongoing support of a bespoke mentor network, an agency starting salary and the same benefits as other full-time employees.
For the inaugural scheme, Rapp has shortlisted three candidates, two of whom (Muniira and Adam) have accept the three-week placement, which has just begun.
However, Rapp UK, Centrepoint and Creative Pioneers believe The Ready Initiative should be an open platform and are inviting anyone interested in learning more about how they can replicate it in their own company to contact them.
Centrepoint employability and skills expert Sadie Odeogberin said: “The challenge for the Government and third sector organisations is to bridge the gap between the needs of employers and goals and aspirations of young people. We’re excited to be part of The Ready Initiative which reflects this need. We’d love to see more creative companies getting involved with these young people.”
Rapp creative director Sid Gordon said: “We actively seek out those who bring fresh ideas and new perspectives. Yet, people from difficult backgrounds don’t get the same opportunities as others to work in our industry, which means we’re missing a big trick. There’s an untapped talent pool out there full of life experience, who with the right coaching and support have every chance to thrive and succeed. We’re confident this programme will give them that chance.”
Rapp chief creative officer Al Mackie added: “The Ready Initiative has been designed to find talent that is easily overlooked, through circumstances beyond their own control. We hope it will encourage other agencies to get out there and take meaningful action around recruitment; meaningful action around the industry’s workforce and meaningful action to be truly inclusive.”
According to Centrepoint figures, more than 100,000 young people ask for help with homelessness each year in the UK. Finding employment is tough, and, all too often, the jobs they find are manual or service-led roles.
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