Six young Manchester creators seeking rewarding careers in the creative industries have unveiled their first ever outdoor advert telling what it takes to get that all important Foot In The Door.

The work, which appeared on Ocean Outdoor’s large format digital screen at The Printworks, was created by Aala (23), Divine (24), Frankie (18), Grace (21), Lysette (23) and Michael (19). The short film marks the group’s completion of a talent development and work placement programme funded by The Andy Taylor Foundation and Manchester social enterprise SharpFutures.

‘Foot In The Door’ was designed to develop the skills and opportunities for socially and economically diverse young people who live in Greater Manchester and are passionate about a career in content creation.

One component of the 12 week bootcamp was to create an advert for Ocean screens using a mixture of video, graphic design, branding and a call to action. ‘Now that we’ve got a Foot In The Door’ celebrates the cohort’s new found skills, closing with the upbeat message #bethenextus.

Scott Webster, Ocean Outdoor regional account director, said: “We all know how difficult it can be to get into the creative industries. Competition is stiff and non-inclusive selection processes often exclude those with the best potential. Being able to help mentor this cohort of young people working with SharpFutures and the Andy Taylor Foundation has been a privilege.”

During the programme, the cohort learnt about different production techniques, digital storytelling, creative ideas generation, writing and pitching. They also developed their communication and teamwork skills through a wide range of workshops and masterclasses with Ocean and other supporters.

The participants then spent six weeks of the programme developing their creative digital skills on work placements with digital publisher LADbible Group, Lime Pictures (the team behind Channel 4’s Hollyoaks), production company Studio Lambert North (Naked Attraction, The Circle, Gogglebox) and ITV Studios.

Aala said: “This course has been really valuable to me. I always have ideas but if someone had given me a job to come up with ideas, I won’t have known how to go about the process. We got to learn about so many different fields of media. I wanted to go into scripted drama, but there are so many other areas where I can now utilise my skills. This has really boosted my confidence and given me the skills to go further.”

Lara Taylor, chair of the Andy Taylor Foundation, said: “Congratulations to the Foot In The Door Class of 2022! We have been so inspired by these young people from the minute we first interviewed them. It has been a joy seeing them develop as they have progressed together on an incredible journey.

“This first partnership for the Andy Taylor Foundation has exceeded all expectations, largely due to our chosen delivery partners including SharpFutures, Ocean Outdoor and our numerous masterclass providers, plus the breadth of brilliant work placements. Foot In The Door has shown that the media industry recognises and supports our aim to improve the diversity of opportunity in the sector. Our next steps are to attract more great industry partners and find the next class of young people with huge potential but struggling to find opportunities.

Lee Stanley, CEO of SharpFutures said: “The last 12 weeks have been an amazing experience for everyone here at SharpFutures as we have seen the ‘Foot In The Door’ group develop their skills, confidence and ability whilst being challenged to come out of their comfort zones and become the professional creatives they are now.

“We are very grateful to Ocean Outdoor for their support of ‘Foot In The Door’ through delivering workshops and setting the brief for the Manchester Printworks outdoor screen. I’m sure the group will be very proud of what they’ve achieved.”

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