TUESDAY 13 JUL 2021 12:39 PM


The Creative Industry Talent Paradox Survey from comms consultancy, Clearly, reveals that the number of internships, work placements and graduate schemes offered by PR and creative agencies is set to fall dramatically compared to pre-pandemic levels, with hybrid and remote working cited as the primary cause.

With lockdown restrictions set to ease next week, Clearly assessed the opportunities for young talent in the PR and creative industry post-pandemic, using a study of 230 agency leaders conducted on 7-9 July 2021.

Prior to March 2020, 67% of agency businesses ran talent schemes for young people. After the pandemic forced businesses to work remotely and revaluate budgets, 43% cancelled or paused talent schemes indefinitely, with only 22% continuing their schemes without interruption.

When asked about their hiring intentions over the next 12 months, 34% of industry leaders said they are currently recruiting new roles, while a further 31% plan to do so in the coming months. However, this is not necessarily good news for young talent as these roles are focused on those with previous experience.

Paul MacKenzie-Cummins, founder and managing director at Clearly, says, “We have seen that it is more than possible to not only manage teams effectively in a virtual working world, but also to onboard new people. Yet those at the earliest stages of their careers were disadvantaged both during the pandemic and will continue to be so in the post-pandemic era due to agencies focusing on experience over future potential.”

The survey directly links the decline in talent schemes to the rise in hybrid and remote working models. Half of agency business leaders plan to adopt a permanent hybrid working model from 19 July, while only 27% plan to resume young talent schemes at a pre-pandemic level.

“Reducing, restricting, or even cancelling young talent schemes is both short-term thinking and will likely be catastrophic for the long-term future and talent pipelines of many agency businesses. Agency leaders have a responsibility to keep the talent pipeline flowing; the future of the industry depends on it,” adds MacKenzie-Cummins.

For more information about the Creative Industry Talent Paradox Survey, contact paul@clearlypr.co.uk