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Boris Johnson awards £400k grant for digital, tech and media apprentices

The newly formed Tech and Digital Skills Consortium (TDSC) has been awarded a £400,000 grant from the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to create at least 800 apprenticeships within the digital, technical and media sectors in London over the next 15 months. The news was announced by Munira Mirza, Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture at the launch event of the 2015 IPA/Metro Creative Pioneers programme, held in partnership with UK Music this evening (10 March 2015).


The Consortium, which bid for the City Hall funds in November 2014, is made up of IPA/Metro Creative Pioneers; Tech Partnership (formerly e-skills); Creative Skillset; British Interactive Media Association; BCS (The Chartered Institute for IT); CompTIA and the South East London Chamber of Commerce. They will be working with specialist training providers Creative Pioneers London; Just IT Training and the London Work Based Learning Alliance. It is led by Andrew Carmichael CEO, Creative Pioneers London.

Said Andrew Carmichael, CEO, Creative Pioneers London: “This will be the first time the Consortium members will have worked together on one project and they are all excited about the potential to leverage their combined reach within the sector. With the funds from this bid we will be able to take on more staff to work with employers on a one-to-one basis, putting together a scheme tailored specifically to their business. The regulations can seem complex, however, we will work to hide the wiring - and make it as simple as possible for employers to take on a young person.”

Munira Mirza, Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture, said: "It is vital that we have enough talented people to ensure our city remains at the forefront of highly competitive digital, technical and media sectors. These new apprenticeships will equip young Londoners with the skills and experience they need to excel in their chosen fields and to contribute to London's future success."

Said Janet Hull OBE, Founder and Executive Director Creative Pioneers and IPA Director of Marketing Strategy: “This new funding boost will help swell our ability to service the market opportunity for high quality apprenticeships as an active career choice; and build scale and visibility for Creative Pioneers apprenticeships in the advertising, digital media and marketing sector.  It’s a win-win for employers and school leavers.”

The announcement was made to an audience of over 200 apprentices, employers and training providers at the launch of the 2015 IPA/Metro Creative Pioneers Challenge programme - the award-winning nationwide campaign to find the next generation of advertising, creative and digital media talent – which was held in partnership with UK Music, this evening (10 March).  The event coincides with National Apprenticeship week and featured presentations from Munira Mirza, Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture, GLA, as well as from previous Creative Pioneer apprentices and employers from Universal and Dentsu, along with representatives from the IPA, UK Music and Metro.

In 2015, the IPA/Metro Creative Pioneers Challenge aims to place over 100 apprentices in over 50 of the UK’s brightest and best creative businesses nationwide, for which all the opportunities are advertised on the Creative Pioneers job board at  The website also includes insights into what it’s like to work in the industry, advice for teachers and parents, experiences from previous apprentices, and profiles of the agency employers. It also shows the range of roles available using the ‘which brain are you’ (plan, create or do) concept, which helps future apprentices identify what types of roles they would be good at.

In addition to this evening’s event, the IPA has embarked on a nationwide tour of the UK this week to promote the programme (visiting Manchester on Monday 9th March, Birmingham on Wednesday 11th March, Bristol and Bath on Thursday 12th March and Newcastle on Friday 13th March).

It will also be hosting a session at Advertising Week Europe on ‘The Future of Talent: see the industry through the eyes of Creative Pioneers’ from 4.00pm – 4.50pm on Monday 23rd March. Speakers will include Ellie Bissett, Account Executive, Proximity London;  Ngoni Gudo, Project Manager, Wunderman; and Christiana Kalu, Strategist, FCB Inferno, who will discuss what they think of the industry now that they’re a part of it, how they see their careers developing and what would they do differently.


Notes to editors:

For more information about the bid.

The Creative Pioneers Challenge (CPC), which offers the opportunity for creative apprenticeships, is open to enthusiastic school or college leavers, aged 16-23, with native digital and social media skills and qualifications no higher than A’ Levels or equivalent. The successful candidates gain valuable on-the-job experience and an industry recognised qualification at the end of the 12-15 months, while the businesses gain access to the brightest, freshest thinking from the next generation of digital natives. As of this year advertising, creative and digital media and marketing businesses are able to hire apprentices year round. Please visit the Creative Pioneers website for more details. If you are an employer looking into offering an apprenticeship and have any questions about the Creative Pioneers Challenge please contact Leila Siddiqi on If you have any questions about applying for an apprenticeship please contact Lewis Coe on

The Mayor of London has made securing new apprenticeships a priority. Nearly one hundred and ninety thousand apprentices have begun work in London since 2010 and over 40,000 people now start an apprenticeship every year in London, which is more than double the number starting four years ago. Those vastly improved results are thanks to a massive amount of work and investment that the Mayor is coordinating alongside the national apprenticeships service and employers.

The funding confirmed today is part of a £1.8 million scheme announced by the Mayor that will create over 3,500 new apprenticeships across the capital. The funding is expected to open up opportunities in thousands of London businesses that may never have taken on an apprentice before.

Specialist recruitment and training providers have been lined up to partner with the Mayor to deliver a programme that will target businesses of every shape, size and specialism. They will be tasked with finding innovative new ways of delivering apprenticeships and helping young Londoners looking for careers ranging from catering and construction to manufacturing and marketing, with all the support they require to obtain apprenticeships within the capital.

Last updated 11/03/2015

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