It’s no secret that the world of advertising needs skilled youngsters to grow the talent pool, help transform the sector and give disadvantaged youngsters a leg up into careers in media. Now the Red & Yellow School has launched its Springboard Marketing Institute (RYSMI) to do just that.
Head of the RYSMI, Sharon Worrall, says they searched for candidates who are “strong, confident and independent personalities – real self-starters with a can do attitude! Honesty, creative potential and flair and an ability to innovate are also important traits. Further to this, they will need to have matriculated with some form of further education or training in terms of a certified qualification or relevant work experience. Qualifying students are generally 20 years and older”.
Over 250 applicants applied via Dreamworker and the Graduate Asset Programme (GA) that offer an online CV assessment service. Fifty were chosen to start the year long National Certificate of Advertising, which is accredited as a Level 5 qualification in the National Qualification Framework (NQF). It comprises six months of structured classroom learning with RYSMI and six months of on-the-job training with an employer in the industry. The Certificate is designed to expose the learner to the communications industry in a real and practical way.
“I expect to be fully equipped to go and shine in the advertising world, through the knowledge and skills I will gain from this programme,” said Sagwadi Maluleke (24), one of the first intake for the new course.
The candidates have different skills levels, but Worrall says the course will kick off with an explanation of what a business actually is and why businesses operate.
“We then explain how they fit into the picture and from there we teach them concrete skills such as how to position a product and how to write a brief,” she says.
After completing the learnership, accredited learners will be able to: Take and construct briefs; Compile a business and marketing plan; Craft and present a creative concept; Write and disseminate a press release; Understand integrated marketing communication; Construct and plan business presentations; Plan and organise an event; Project management; and Use basic computer programmes such as Word and Excel as well as Google Analytics
“The students will also experience working in campaign groups i.e. groups of eight will be pulled together where each group will comprise a copy student, art direction student, strategic planner etc. Each group will then be tasked with running a campaign together,” Worrall says. Graduates, who sign a learnership agreement with the Institute.
“The certificate is fully integrated and well-rounded, so as to prepare the students for many different marketing disciplines within the industry. The course includes a significant digital component too,” she says.
“As an entrepreneur, I want to gain skills that I can take back to my business and transfer them. This will be a great opportunity to exit the business and find employment,” said one on the 2015 intake, 30-eyar-old Masixole Kula.
Another, Bongani Gobizemba (23), said the opportunity was a “dream come true”.
“I’ve always wanted ‘to study advertising but I could not afford Now is my time to shine, thanks to Sharon and Seta for this learnership, I am enjoying every moment learning new things. I can assure after this programme I will be able to face the world. Once again thanks to Sharon,” he said.
The Institute is calling on the media industry to get involved, and give students the opportunity for on-the-job training. Worrall says the response has been “very positive and encouraging – it has been a pretty easy sell”. But, she says, “I do feel, however, that industry players at large, do need to be more inclusive. Our objective is upskill young people, so as to cultivate an inclusive culture within the industry in time to come”.
Worrall says those who have taken up the challenge include large retailers, various media houses, ad agencies and quite a few players in the travel and tourism industry.
“I expect to gain experience, make contacts and get a job an become a great ambassador for the Red & Yellow Springboard,” said Fezeka Qusheka (29).
Diane Charton, principal of the Red & Yellow School, says the initiative aims to “create a brighter future for talented young people who don’t have the resources to study for an industry-relevant qualification. But we are also looking to help employers in the advertising world address their urgent need to transform and become more representative of the country’s population”.
Additionally, Charton says, companies that participate in the programme will also receive a range of practical benefits, including potential tax rebates, wage bill subsidies and points on their broad based black economic empowerment scorecards.
Student Sharon Mokoena (24), says her expectation is to “gain more knowledge about the advertising world and how everything works, so that I can apply the knowledge that Red & Yellow has install in me to the job I get and to be the best in what I do.”
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