River Island, Mulberry, Asos, John Lewis, Peacocks and the Pentland Group will offer Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) course students the chance to work at their business in a new initiative.
Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) has launched The Protégé Project to help this year’s graduates find work. Students graduating this year from one of the GFW 2009 courses can compete to win short-term contracts to work for the businesses, which are all sponsors of GFW.
The project aims to give graduates commercial as well as design acumen. For example, Mulberry will offer its protégé the chance to work with creative director Emma Hill and an apprentice craftsman to create and market a new style for the next collection.
Richard Bradbury, chief executive of River Island, GFW’s title sponsor, said: “British trained graduates in the creative sector are respected the world over and hold the most influential positions in companies throughout the globe. However, it is now more difficult than ever for graduates to find work, and with the global recession showing no signs of improvement we wholeheartedly support GFW’s Protégé Project initiative. The scheme provides students with a valuable short-term contract, and in turn it provides some of the UK’s top brands with young, innovative design talent.”
GFW said the project’s main aim was to inspire smaller creative businesses to take advantage of fresh graduate talent and give them a stronger chance in the current, tough job market.
GFW chairman Terry Mansfield said: “We have a duty to do everything we can to channel today’s skills into real jobs ensuring that the world’s best graduate talent is utilised in a way to benefit not only the graduate but also the UK’s creative economy. The short-term contract would give graduates the most invaluable work experience and give them something really tangible when moving on to find a full-time job.”