RAPP UK is launching a ground-breaking new approach to finding talent with The READY Initiative, an apprenticeship for young people who have experienced homelessness and are suited to a creative career. The initiative is a partnership between RAPP UK, youth homelessness charity Centrepoint and education specialist Creative Pioneers to find and develop these individuals.
More than 100,000 young people ask for help with homelessness each year in the UK, according to Centrepoint. And unsurprisingly, finding employment is tough. Often, the jobs they find are manual or service-led roles. Yet many of these individuals find it hard to stay in such roles as they are highly creative, research suggests.
RAPP UK met with government legislation advisors and Cardiff University professors specialising in youth housing, homelessness and pathways for vulnerable people, to understand how The READY Initiative could create lasting opportunities. With their expert consultation, the unique scheme has been designed to give those from a disadvantaged background the skills and aptitude to flourish and grow in any creative workplace, not just advertising.
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.
Sid Gordon, Creative Director at RAPP UK, 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 READY will give them that chance.”
Centrepoint, which supports young people who have experience of homelessness, has helped to recruit candidates. After setting them a brief to test their creative potential, RAPP UK has shortlisted 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.
Employability and skills expert Sadie Odeogberin from Centrepoint, explains, “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 UK Chief Creative Officer Al Mackie said, “The READY Initiative is all about standing up for individuality and we’re so pleased to be able to say that READY 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 work force and meaningful action to be truly inclusive.”
RAPP UK, Centrepoint and Creative Pioneers believe The READY Initiative should be an open platform and is inviting anyone interested in learning more about how they can replicate it in their own company to contact them.
Centrepoint’s Youth Homelessnes Databank estimates that last year 103,000 16-24 year olds asked their council for help because they were homeless or at risk.