The Brand Union is to launch an initiative to raise employment standards for young designers in response to Design Week’s Salary Survey.
The consultancy will introduce a £20 000 minimum wage for graduate recruits, following Design Week reports that in 2007 ‘UK-wide rates for senior designers increased by 3 per cent, yet rates for junior designers were static’ (DW 20 March).
Glenn Tutssel, executive creative director of The Brand Union, says, ‘Young people are the lifeblood of the industry and we want to make sure they are not being used as cheap labour, or being placed in a position where they need more money but are afraid to ask for it.’
He adds that fair wages are a way to encourage young people to join the creative industries, thereby safeguarding the standards of British design.
The Brand Union is also expanding its student bursary scheme. It will now take second-year students from Belfast University as well as Cardiff, Dundee, Somerset College of Arts and Technology and London College of Communication.
It takes three students a year from each university, awards them a £500 bursary and grants them a three-week paid placement at its London office.
Tutssel says, ‘We will employ at least two and possibly three of the students the following year.’
The £20 000 minimum wage will be given to students who will be part of the scheme in May and subsequently join the consultancy in 2009.