In a move that it says its lawyers advised against, Australian creative agency Thinkerbell has launched Thrive@55, an eight-week, fully paid internship open only to people over the age of 55.
While it noted that the initiative "is probably discriminatory to everyone else", the agency cited statistics showing that just 5% of ad agency employees globally are over the age of 50.
“We’ve created this internship programme because our older generation are massively underrepresented in the advertising industry, and have a lifetime of experience to bring to our agency, and our industry," Emma O’Leary, the agency's culture, operations and people officer, said in a release. "We want our staff and clients to benefit from people with years of life experience, and vice versa.”
Recruits could contribute anywhere, the agency said: creative, account management, office management, finance, media, digital services, illustration, strategy or photography.
And no prior agency experience is required. “You could be a retired hotel concierge that’s interested in running our front of house, a detective who wants to do some insights work, or a newspaper cartoonist who’s looking for the next creative challenge.” O’Leary said. “We don’t mind where your experience comes from, as long as you think you have something to give to our industry”.
Applications are open until 20 October. The agency has offices in Sydney and Melbourne.