948 people have entered the IPA/Metro Creative Pioneers Challenge, the nationwide search to offer 300 young people employment opportunities in the creative and digital media industries around the UK. One hundred companies have united behind the initiative, including Twitter, Aardman Animation, Spotify and Omnicom Media Group.
The Challenge was open to anyone aged 16+ who could enter one of three categories: Can-Do (those who have creative flair, bright ideas and commercial instincts, but may be lacking experience), Can-Code (those who know how to develop programs required for the creative business environment) and Can-Start (those that have a creative business idea linked to digital content or platforms, but need commercial exposure and support).
Of the applicants 62 per cent were aged 16-24 years old and 38 per cent were aged 25 and above. 66 per cent entered the Can-Do category, nine per cent entered the Can-Code category and 25 per cent entered the Can-Start category.
Shortlisted applicants will be notified in mid-June and invited to attend speed-meetings with some of the businesses offering roles at their nearest regional hub. Following this, the successful applicants will begin work in September in a rich variety of roles as apprentices or paid interns in television and film production, gaming, digital technology, web design and analytics, social media, media planning and buying, creative services, marketing communications and advertising. Any budding entrepreneurs selected will get access to the best in the business, and support to get their idea off the ground via office space, mentoring or investment.
Award winning entrepreneur, former Dragons’ Den presenter and Tech City Supporter James Caan has recently joined the Challenge as an ambassador and patron. Other patrons include UKTI Business Trade Ambassador Brent Hoberman, IPA President Nicola Mendelsohn, Metro Managing Director Linda Grant, and Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries who is championing the initiative.
IPA President Nicola Mendelsohn (pictured) says: “The sheer number of applications into this unique Challenge proves that there is a wealth of passionate talent on a nationwide scale keen to get their foot in the door of the creative and digital industries. With so many applicants keen to prove their can-do, can-code and can-start skills and abilities I am confident and excited to think that we are securing our next generation of creative pioneers, on which our position in the world market relies.”
Metro managing director Linda Grant says: “With this being Creative Pioneers’ first year in action it’s been great to see such a phenomenal number of applications from talented, passionate people nationwide looking to kick start their careers. We’re proud to be partnering alongside the IPA on this project as it’s vital we take positive action to secure the future of the creative industries, one of the fastest growing and most valuable sectors in the UK.”
Spearheaded by advertising trade body the IPA, The Creative Pioneers Challenge marks the latest phase of Nicola Mendelsohn’s IPA Presidential agenda. It is being supported by sector skills council Creative Skillset, and in partnership with Metro who will be running a four-month editorial and promotional campaign nationwide.