New Blood stream dries up at the digital frontier

Last week, I took some of our team to the D&AD New Blood event in London.

Last week, I took some of our team to the D&AD New Blood event in London. This event is supposed to showcase the best creative talent from across the UK higher education system.

If you are a student creative, this is the place to be seen and try for that elusive first job. We arrived just before 8pm and then spent over 30 minutes queuing to get in – even though we had private invitations.

When we did get in, we were informed that all the beer had been consumed within the first hour. I was offered warm white wine or a coffee. No thanks.

Fed up with queuing, we decided to hit the task at hand, until the size of the task became apparent.

The event has grown to cover three floors. How are you supposed to be able to see everything in a few hours, with no air con, no cold drinks, serious heat, and after a 35-minute queue?

We split up, looking for someone with a flair for creativity and digital work. I can count the number of websites I actually saw on screen on one hand, and some of these did not even work.

This is a serious issue. When we have such a shortage of on-line skills, colleges are vomiting out thousands of students who know nothing about digital and have not been made aware of it.

Why is digital treated as the bastard brother to traditional creative? Why is the system churning out print designers when there are hardly any pure print jobs left?

Look on any creative job page and you will see that most jobs expect experience or an understanding of digital. These kids have none.

Digital is the future, so why are our future generations so unprepared for it?

Benn Achilleas, Managing director, Neoco, London WC2

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