The Ideas Foundation demands support for young talent

By Mark Sweney,, Friday, 15 August 2003 12:00AM

The Ideas Foundation is calling on the advertising industry to back its bid to nurture creative talent.

The charity, launched by Robin Wight, the chairman of WCRS, aims to identify the next generation of creatives in British schools.

It is in the process of selecting up to 50 14- to 19-year-old student candidates, which it calls creativity scholars, and is seeking to sign up the same number of companies to mentor them and offer one-month creative scholarships.

The Ideas Foundation has already attracted the support of a wide range of industry figures including John Hegarty, Rooney Carruthers, The Guardian's editor, Alan Rusbridger, the managing director of Conde Nast, Nicholas Coleridge, Chris Frayling of the Royal College of Art, the BBC 1 controller, Lorraine Heggessey, and Alan Yentob, the BBC director of drama, entertainment and children's programming.

Wight said: "Too many of today's young creative talents never get identified in a school system that tends to focus more on academic achievement.

"We are launching a small programme that will hopefully grow to a significant movement designed to ensure that Britain uses all the creative talent at its disposal."

The charity will launch with a pilot in secondary schools in the Hackney area. After further talks with educators, the initiative will roll out as a nationwide scheme available to all state school pupils.

This roll-out will be the first step in a 20-year programme that will monitor the creativity scholars through their lives. Linked to the talent programme is a publishing project that interviews creative achievers.

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