Gloucester-based production company, Dashing Bear Productions is to employ five new graduate employees.
Dashing Bear Productions is one of a number of companies taking part in the Government Kickstart Scheme to create paid job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit. With youth unemployment increasing 13 per cent year-on-year amid the devastating impact of Covid-19, the initiative is helping to offset a crisis for Britain’s younger workforce.
“As soon as I heard about the idea for the Kickstart Scheme, I knew I wanted my business to be part of it,” says Dashing Bear founder Dave Ashdown. “Like many media careers, video production is competitive and it can be difficult to get your foot on the ladder; especially if you’re based outside of London or the UK’s bigger cities.
“Dashing Bear is lucky enough to be enjoying growth right now, so this is a great opportunity to expand our community reach and bring a fresh perspective to our work, while providing on-the-job training to a very promising pool of candidates,” he adds.
Dashing Bear Productions has recently moved into the aptly-named Bearland Lodge on Longsmith Street in Gloucester, in order to provide a Covid-safe working space ahead of the arrival of its five Kickstart employees. The group will begin work at various points in the next few weeks, and will benefit from learning skills in areas such as editing, producing, animating and graphic design over the course of six-month job placements.
“Some people might balk at the idea of taking on employees with limited experience, but at Dashing Bear, we think it’s the other way round – there’s huge potential to develop quickly and creatively with all the energy and vision that young people bring,” says Dave. “The hope is that some candidates will be able to stay on beyond the six-month point, joining Dashing Bear full-time as we take on ever-bigger and more ambitious projects together.”
Gloucester-based graduate Tom Osborne is one of the Kickstart employees who began work with Dashing Bear last week. “After wrapping up a Master’s in Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh, I felt like I had to move to a bigger city to pursue my passion to secure creative work,”he says. “But the Kickstart scheme and Dashing Bear allowed me to secure a creative, fulfilling job without having to move. It’s opened the door to the opportunities and challenges I’ve been looking for.”
The Department of Work and Pensions designed the Kickstart Scheme as a way for those aged 16 to 24 to gain fully paid experience working in some of Britain’s most exciting companies, in a project rolled out by Gloucestershire County Council acting as a local gateway.
Cllr Patrick Molyneux, cabinet member for economy, education and skills at Gloucestershire County Council said: “We are proud to be part of the Kickstart programme working alongside employers like Dashing Bear who are coming up with exciting opportunities to help young people kick start their careers. They are able to build their skills and knowledge in a real work place setting whilst getting paid, which helps them to discover their skills and build on their employment ambitions.
Companies benefit from working alongside young people who offer valuable insight into what we need to do to help develop the county’s future workforce. This is a fantastic opportunity and we are grateful to employers like Dashing Bear who are providing opportunities, knowledge and support to help young people move forward with their careers.”
Along with teaching its new recruits the ins and outs of video production, Dashing Bear Productions plans to empower its Kickstart employees with a wide suite of career skills, including networking, copywriting and social media marketing for business.
“We’re looking to create a really valuable placement for everyone involved,” says Dave. “As well as taking up a paid role with a hands-on approach to video production, our graduates will have the chance to flesh out their CVs and gain the edge in a challenging environment, with a range of new skills and on-the-job experience.”