20/03/2012 07:28 GMT

Creative Pioneers: 100 Companies From Saatchi To Spotify Offer Jobs To School Leavers

School-leavers are being offered the chance to work for the company of their dreams as 100 media giants combine forces to offer hundreds of jobs to unemployed youths.

Organisations such as ITV, Facebook, Twitter and Saatchi & Saatchi have signed up to the "Creative Pioneers Challenge", which offers young people who are more than 16 years old the chance of an apprenticeship or paid internship. Budding entrepreneurs can also submit any creative business ideas they have and if selected, will be given support to make their vision a reality through investment, office space or mentoring.

The programme, backed by culture minister Ed Vaizey, has been devised by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and will help provide 300 school leavers with employment.

Vaizey, who described the initiative as "brilliant", said the IPA and the companies involved should be commended for their efforts.

"This scheme will create hundreds of exciting and rewarding new jobs for young school leavers in the creative sector.

"The creative industries represent a massive opportunity for growth and those involved in this challenge are to be commended for nurturing and developing the next generation of film directors, web and video game designers, advertising chiefs and marketing experts.”

Other firms participating include Aardman Animation, Spotify and Omnicom Media Group.

The new recruitment drive follows on from the announcement deputy prime minister Nick Clegg would tackle the "ticking time bomb" of youth unemployment through a new "youth contract".

In November, youth employment figures hit, and exceeded, the one million mark, reigniting fears the UK was cultivating a "scarred generation".

IPA president Nicola Mendelsohn touted the programme as a "real first".

"The creative and digital media sector is well placed to find a solution to the national youth unemployment need because there is high growth and big ambition for the UK's potential. The government thoroughly supports us in this, as we play our part in helping the economy to recover."

Those wanting to apply to the scheme have until noon on 27 April and can enter via the Creative Pioneers website.

Successful applicants will begin work in September.