Wunderman apprenticeship scheme woos diverse talent

wunderman 11Wunderman Thompson is aiming to shake up its recruitment strategy with the launch of a new apprenticeship scheme designed to attract people from diverse backgrounds into the industry.

The Catalyst Academy, which opens in April 2021, is targeted at both graduates and young people with some experience who want to pursue a creative career.

The agency said: “What matters is that you are obsessed with creativity, problem solving and imagining future possibilities for our clients’ brands. Wunderman believes that by bringing diverse minds together it will inspire growth for our clients and ourselves.”

Wunderman Thompson argues that, with the future of communications changing rapidly, for brands to succeed they need to have access to a range of experts who can deliver everything from brand communications, digital, data, and content to customer engagement, technology, consulting and experience.

The Catalyst Academy is an 18-month programme being offered in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands that consists of multiple spells within different Wunderman Thompson businesses.

Along with the rotations, the “Catalysts” will train together throughout the duration of the programme; supporting each other. They will also gain industry qualifications from the IPA and the WPP AI Academy.

The scheme offers “a competitive base salary” plus a welcome bonus to help with costs such as travel. Candidates will get 25 days annual leave, discount on medical insurance and a pension contribution.

Catalysts will also have access to personal development opportunities and the chance to be part of Wunderman Thompson’s employee resource groups, including Women’s Network, Unite, Roots, Wellbeing and Green Team.

At the end of the programme the agency says it will work with candidates to identify where they will be best positioned to succeed in a landing role within the agency.

The launch of the scheme follows Wunderman Thompson’s commitment to an initiative which has seen the agency review culture, policies and infrastructure to best support the needs of LGBTQ+ staff.

It is also part of a wider industry drive to rid the sector of its endemic “pale, male and stale” culture to bring greater diversity into the industry.

Last month saw the launch of Marketing Debuts, the brainchild of recruitment agency The Industry Club. Targeted at 18- to 25-year-olds, the scheme is designed to equip apprentices with core skills and competencies needed to operate to post-pandemic ways of working.

Meanwhile, the IPA and Creative Pioneers are backing a new apprenticeship scheme for young creatives. Written by agencies for agencies, the Level 3 Junior Creative Apprenticeship Standard has been created to equip recruits from all backgrounds with the knowledge, skills and behaviours to become successful creatives.

There are also schemes being run by Lucky Generals and Rapp designed to attract people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds while the DMA is urging both clients and agencies to recruit more neurodiverse people to extend the sector’s talent pool.

Wunderman Thompson said: “We know it’s only by bringing diverse minds together that we and our clients will grow. Inclusion and diversity are a fundamental part of Wunderman Thompson – we’re committed to making sure our people reflect the diversity of the wider world and creating an inclusive environment where our people feel that they belong. We want to see applications from candidates of all identities and backgrounds.”

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