Young advertising professionals group organises advertising training for job seekers with disability

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DSA logo.jpgThrough a partnership with Disability Services Australia, a group of young advertising professionals, ex global agency network workers, have united to form a unique program for job seekers with disability.

Says lead organiser Duncan Mah: “As Freelancers we bring real campaigns for real clients to young job seekers with disability to work on to up skill and present a portfolio of real work to prospective mainstream employers in the creative industries. As we all know real work speaks volumes over speculative work.”

Clients range from Government, Hospital, through to Not For Profit, and tasks include: animated video, websites, facebook campaigns and radio ads.

“We are paid as Freelancers and are doing some pro bono work as well and volunteer at Disability Services Australia as tutors,” says Mah.

Some clients have agreed to donate extra funds to the program so young people get other benefits besides building a credible portfolio of work.

Says Mah: “We want to focus on ability, and though we have just started the pilot program and had only 1 session, the young people have already shown to be highly gifted, talented, motivated and best of all have a great positive attitude.

“We all know how hard it is to break into advertising, imagine having the talent and skills to pursue a successful career in the creative industries and marketing, but having a disability.

“Unfortunately 50% of people with disability are unable to obtain the opportunity to enter the workforce, though as we know, they can be a highly valuable asset to your company.  

“We know from research that people with disability are less likely to be hired in Australia than someone without a disability.  However a report conducted by Deloitte (a top 5 global consulting firm) found that the majority of workers with disability take less sick days than people without disability, are just or more productive than people without disability and have less occupational health and safety incidents in the work place.

“Unfortunately I think the majority of hiring managers don’t know this information, and this project aims to reinforce the evidence found in the Deloitte report in 2011.”

duncan photo.jpgThis idea was spearheaded by Mah (left) who brought together a network of ex global network advertising freelancers, and went out to win new business for the pilot program.

He then contacted DSA, had a meeting with all the managers and DSA’s Naomi Barber saw value and opportunity for young job seekers accessing DSA services and organised the program to start.

Says Mah: “We want to set a precedent in the industry so more programs like this can be set up to secure the future of young people with disability, so they are given a go and a chance to succeed in creative industries. A lot of the young people in the pilot program already have web based and creative skills.”

There are a number of tutors who have worked for major advertising global networks involved in the project including: Richard Kahotea (Portfolio), Russell Taylor (Portfolio), and Joel Kim, amongst other talented advertising, web developer and marketing professionals.

The ad industry is urged to look out for these young people as one day they could be a highly valuable asset to your agency or marketing department.

For more info contact Duncan Mah on 0421 867 212.