Young and fired up

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When it comes to creativity, it’s young people who have their ear to the ground. They know what’s hot and what’s not. They’re tapped directly into the wellspring of all things new and transformative – from revolutionary music to, well, actual revolutions. By that rationale, young creatives from all walks of life should form the very bedrock of our industry.

These days, though, jobs aren’t that easy to come by. Precariousness of employment is on the rise, while diversity and inclusion remain major challenges. Diversity figures, for example, show that creatives from minority backgrounds are significantly under-represented – hardly a reflection of our exciting and diverse towns and cities. Equally worrying is the lack of young female voices. Even though approximately 60% of creative students are women, only 30% go on to secure full-time employment in the industry.

There is also the so-called ‘hidden job market’. Vacancies for plum roles are continually filled through personal and industry networks, with 60% of openings failing to appear on jobs boards. And that’s before we get into unpaid internships, which naturally favour those with access to the bank of mum and dad, and mounting student debt that prevents many from joining entry-level jobs in our industry.

We can and should do better. Young people bring new ideas, disrupt ossified structures, and carry the wide-eyed utopianism that can challenge precepts and push things in novel directions. Ie. They can help us create EVEN BETTER content. As David Ogilvy once said: “Talent, I believe, is most likely to be found among nonconformists, dissenters and rebels”. These are traits, I would add, typical of those who are young and fired up. 

Crucially, our understanding of the world is tied to how it is written about – and by whom. In other words, creative expression often acquires meaning based on how it is conceptualised and articulated. If stories – content, films, campaigns – are filtered through a younger and more diverse lens, espousing a wider range of ideas and aesthetics, what you get is a more complete and exciting account of the world.

Welcome to Grads in Content, a CMA service that connects students and young graduates from all walks of life with jobs in the content industry. It’s a small step – but also an important one as it invites a wider range of young talent to join our industries and tell stories about the world.

Vince Medeiros, CMA Chairman

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