Supporting young people who have experienced barriers to employment to develop in-demand skills while working on a project that has a positive social impact.
In 2013, 2014 and 2015 we employed a cohort of eight 18-24 year olds as Junior Digital Producers (JDPs), with support from the Creative Employment Programme. Many had been unemployed for at least six months and experienced barriers to employment in the creative and digital industries.
During their employment with us, the JDPs learned in-demand digital skills from industry experts, such as coding, animation, filmmaking and design, whilst being supported to improve their confidence and professionalism. Their training took place within the context of a ‘real life’ project that aimed to produce a positive social impact by working with local people to respond to an identified need.
During the JDPs time with us, we facilitated introductions between them and industry employers, so they could network, make new industry contacts and share their work. We also collaborated with local businesses, such as Horstmann, and this approach has benefits for all parties: young people experience a range of working environments, businesses are introduced to potential employees, and everyone explores new opportunities for training, product development and innovation.
Since leaving the programme, 88% of JDPs have found work or become self-employed. One JDP, Sammy Payne, went on to take part in the Disney Accelerator programme and co-found Open Bionics, which provides 3D printed robotic hands for amputees.
Several JDPs continue to work with us through our supported employment programme Eight, which helps young professionals secure their second job and explore self-employment and freelancing whilst working on paid commissions.
With thanks to Opposable Group for their support.