Despite the recent jubilation at unemployment dropping a record amount, graduate unemployment remains depressingly high. The latest figures show that it has now risen to 9%, which is up from 8% a year ago and well above pre-crisis rates of 5% seen in early 2008 . This is because new jobs are being created in smaller private sector companies who are less likely to employ graduates or have internship programmes. Internships have increasingly become the route for graduates to kick-start their career, but in industries where small companies dominate, such as digital media, they are usually only offered to people connected to the company (family and friends). Smart Cookie, one of the World’s leading creative technology agencies, has decided to address this inequity by launching a UK wide talent search, open to all. The ‘winner’ will be given a two month paid internship at their Surrey offices with the prospect of a job at the end of it.
Simon Conington, MD of recruitment specialists BPS and Chair of the Engineering and Technical Group at REC welcomed Smart Cookie’s announcement; “There has been a lot of debate on the discriminatory impact of not paying interns but, just as important, is how you source them. It is very difficult for someone with no connections, to take the first step into some careers. This is frustrating for young people but it also means that industries are almost certainly missing out on some great employees. Smart Cookie’s approach opens the door to talented graduates without connections. I hope that it is a huge success and other companies copy them.”
The Smart Cookie talent search is open to all graduates who have a working knowledge of key digital programmes including; VRAY/3DMax/Maya/Motion Graphics/CGI/Interactive software. A simple application form can be found at www.wearesmartcookie.com/intern. Graduates then simply have to demonstrate their creativity and talent by producing a short video (one to three minutes in length) and uploading it to YouTube using #IamSmartCookie. The ten best entries will then be interviewed by the team at Smart Cookie and at least one will be offered an internship over the summer.
Smart Cookie is a multi-award winning agency who work with the marketing teams of the World’s most famous brands to engage customers. The intern will work alongside Smart Cookie’s creative team whose credits include: The American Airlines rebrand TV commercial, the Hologram chair for American Airlines, Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of the War of the Worlds live tours and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Super Bowl commercial and website. A showreel of their work can be found at www.wearesmartcookie.com and on Smart Cookie TV.
Chris Searson, Chair of Smart Cookie explained; “Our industry is dominated by small companies who don’t have the resources for formal graduate or intern programmes. Instead, at entry level, our industry relies too heavily on connections, and in doing so I’m sure we miss out on some amazing talent. They lose out and we lose out. We want to change that inequity, and are also keen to attract female applicants, as they are so under-represented in this industry. If the talent search is a success we’ll extend our offer next time.”
The Deadline for entries is the 17th April. Full entry rules, the application form, and terms and conditions can be found at www.wearesmartcookie/intern.