WPP's Wavemaker UK operation is launching The Splash program to encourage better diversity within its entry-level workforce. While the program is open to everyone over age 18, The Splash is placing an increased focus on older workers to combat what it sees as ageism in the media industry.
The program uses a revamped application process which dismisses the traditional resume in favor of asking applicants to respond to a client brief and, for example, “tell us how you’d sell life insurance to someone under the age of 35.”
The Splash launches in partnership with advisor Creative Pioneers, which will provide the job training qualification and educational support. Nicknamed Future Makers, instead of Apprentices, trainees will work a four-day week and receive regular presentations and mentoring sessions.
A separate studio space titled The Splash will enable those in the program to network and work on client briefs. The paid apprenticeships will last for up to 18 months, starting in September, with potential for permanent roles at the end of the program.
The idea for the program is credited to Wavemaker managing director Anna Hickey, who took a sort of zero-based approach, asking,: “What if we could start totally from scratch, what would we want it to look like?"
The end result, according to an agency spokesperson, is "we’ve created a scheme that is different from any other media agency entry-level opportunity."
The deadline for applications for the inaugural program is June 1.