We couldn’t help but notice the shocking story of a graphic designer in Wales, forced to live on the streets because he was unable to find freelance work in time to pay his rent and was then trapped in a cycle of not having accommodation or a job. Thankfully the story looks as if it will have a good ending as Daniel Smith, 25, has now been inundated with job offers. But it got us thinking…
A sign of the times?
Every year it becomes more difficult for younger people to establish careers – especially in highly competitive industries. A combination of soaring rent prices (particularly in major cities where the work usually is), the ‘gig economy’ and an age-old cycle of needing-experience-to-get-experience are all contributing factors. Thankfully the culture of unpaid internships is slowly being phased out, but there is still much more that we can do to give people like Daniel a better chance …
A history of giving a home to designers
We are proud of the training and development work we do with our designers here at Marco HQ and it has even been officially recognised by Newham Chamber of Commerce. Around 20 apprentices have developed their skills with us over the last 10 years. We also have a good reputation with further and higher education organisations locally for taking on students, enabling them to access formal training and development and get essential experience honing their skills in a busy working design studio.
Look after your designers and they will look after you!
None of us would be where we are today if we weren’t given opportunities in the beginning – so we feel a moral obligation to help developing designers. But it isn’t just altruistic. Marcomedia thrives because our team brings enthusiasm and creativity to every print, design and web project we work on. Part of the reason for that is our continued investment in designers who bring fresh ideas and motivation. In addition, few of us forget the people that supported us in the beginning: even when our designers spread their wings, we find that they also spread the word about us which is lovely.
Helping homeless people this winter
This story not only highlights the challenges faced by younger people trying to establish a career, it also highlights the fact that many people living on the streets have skills and qualifications and, with the right opportunities, many could get back on their feet. Seva Street is a local charity run by volunteers from residents and businesses such as Avery Emmerson Solicitors. They visit three locations each week, taking food and drink to vulnerable and homeless people, speaking with them and signposting them to other services that could help them. Research shows that all of us are just two steps away from homelessness at any one time. To find out more about Seva Street, volunteer or donate, visit their website.
None of this is exclusive to the design and print industry – developing new talent is something all organisations should commit to. Whatever your industry, to support our talented designers and get the benefit of their fresh new creativity, call us on 0208 590 0922 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org