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Creative Newcastle identifies talent as key theme

Over 100 people attended Creative Newcastle on Tuesday 9 March with representatives of Newcastle and the North East’s creative businesses including design, advertising, video games, film, and publishing companies.

The initiative was co-hosted by the IPA, Creative England and The Drum, in local partnership with the North East LEP, Creative North and Create UK.

The panel, chaired by Ben Quigley, Group CEO Everything Different, and IPA Out of London Chair, provided a platform for discussion around local creative potential and industry collaboration. It ran in response to the provocation set out by Lewis Blackwell, keynote speaker and guest writer for The Drum’s special supplement on Creative Newcastle, which launched the same evening.

Finding, developing and retaining the right talent emerged as a key issue in the debate. Members of the panel expressed their concern about how to attract top, diverse talent and the urgent need to educate young people in schools, along with their parents and teachers, about the breadth of exciting roles available in the creative industries.

It seems like the right time to talk about Creative Pioneers, an award winning nationwide scheme run by the IPA and Metro, providing school leavers with apprenticeships in over 100 different advertising, digital marketing and media employers.

The successful candidates gain valuable on-the-job experience and an industry-recognised qualification, while the businesses access top talent. Over half our apprentices are employed full time at the end of their apprenticeship.

Since inception in 2012, over 250 young people have benefited from Creative Pioneers in the city regions of Birmingham, Bristol, London and Manchester. This year we launched in Newcastle during National Apprenticeship Week, working with Creative North as our local training provider.

We are delighted to announce that since launch in March we already have 63 apprenticeship roles on offer in Newcastle alone – a record breaking result! And over 100 roles throughout the other cities.

Creative Pioneers is a movement with a constantly-growing community that has young people’s interests at its very heart. Creative Pioneers’ events run throughout the year to make apprentices feel valued and involved – for example our Creative Pioneers alumni ran a session at Advertising Week Europe 2015, chaired by Tim Campbell MBE – read more and watch the video here.

It is particularly rewarding that in a recent survey, over 75% of the CP apprentices said they would give the scheme a rating of 9 out of 10 or above.

Advertising and digital marketing is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the UK economy, creating a GVA of £10.25bn, up 9.7% 2013, 482,000 jobs and exports of £2.34bn (2012).

In order to sustain this growth we must stay at the forefront of digital innovation. To do this we need the skills that young people - as digital natives with diverse skills and backgrounds - can provide.

The challenge is therefore to continue to educate young people, parents and careers advisors about the breadth of roles available; from data analytics and strategy to client services and social and many more.

Creative roles are just part of the mix. To address this, our new 2015 advertising campaign revolves around the concept of ‘what brain type are you’: Plan, Create or Do. Earlier this year we launched a website which explains this concept in more detail and matches each job to a Plan, Create or Do role.

The IPA is hosting an afternoon for careers advisors from London state schools on 25 June to introduce them to our industry in more detail and start developing a relationship with schools. Educating young people, teachers and parents about our industry is a major priority this year.

We would like to invite all advertising, creative and digital media businesses in and around Newcastle and the Northeast, as well as in Bristol, Birmingham, London and Manchester, to get involved with Creative Pioneers. It is free for individuals and companies to get involved at any point throughout the year.

It’s clear that Newcastle and the North East is proud of its creative heritage – with the right programmes such as Creative Pioneers in place securing the right talent, it will continue to thrive.

Leila Siddiqi is the Marketing Manager for IPA & Creative Pioneers.

Find out more about Creative Pioneers here.

For more information on the new Government stats go here.

Twitter: @CPChallenge

*Creative Pioneers Challenge was awarded a bronze award on Thursday,26 September for Creative Pioneers at the Corporate Engagement Awards in the ‘Best Combined Partnership’ category.

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