Charity asks brands to tap into marketing budgets to help kids get into industry

Youth education charity the Ideas Foundation (IF) is asking brands to get involved by pushing £15k of their marketing budgets into the initiative in 2015.

Marketing leaders from the UK’s top 100 companies and chiefs of global creative agencies mingled with twenty students aged 14 to 21, each having benefited from the IF, at 11 Downing Street yesterday (2 February) to celebrate the 11th anniversary of the charity.

The event was part of the IF’s “15for2015” drive, which asks brands to push £15k of their marketing budgets in 2015 to the charity, which provides support for developing creative career opportunities for young people.

The charity was founded in 2004 in Hackney with the goal of nurturing creative talent amongst inner city children, but has since grown to become a national programme, supporting nearly 2,000 students in the last academic year.

Current supporters include companies such as TalkTalk, Coutts, Eon and IBM as well as creative agencies Ogilvy & Mather, BBH and Engine.

Speaking at the event, Robin Wight, founder of the IF and of agency WCRS, said: “Every brand in Britain should be harvesting the creativity of young people using our programme that embeds a brief into the curriculum of a school. Thousands of young people could then use this experience to take the first step on the ladder that leads them to a career in the creative industries.”

Meanwhile, senior leaders in the marketing, advertising and education sectors spoke at the event of the opportunities the charity can bring to their industries.

Jonathan Akwue, chair of the IF and partner at Engine, says: “Employment opportunities in the creative industries are growing quickly year on year. We need to ensure as an industry that we are attracting the best talent from the varied backgrounds that best reflect our audiences. Not only is diversity a morally important issue, it’s an economic one too.”

According to statistics published by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in January, the UK’s creative industries were worth £76.9bn a year to the economy in 2013, marking an all-time high and an increase of 9.9% year on year.

Two of the young people in attendance at the event recently landed jobs in international creative agencies Digitalis and Landor.