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What is the Toucan Academy

16th October 2018 by Josh Beadon

In this short article I give a little bit more information about our innovative Graduate scheme that is quickly gathering momentum. A number of organisations and businesses have already 'signed up' and more are planning on coming onboard in the near future.

Why a graduate academy?
Like many South West based businesses, we were struggling to recruit the right calibre of graduates, because many were being lured by the bright lights of the South East. However, we learned that many of these graduates find themselves working in ‘placements’ for little or no pay, and often working on dull and uninspiring projects. It occurred to me that if we developed an attractive offer of our own, we might solve our recruitment issues.

What are the benefits of the academy for businesses ?
We refer to the businesses and organisations who support the scheme as our 'Academy Partners’, and we really do view them as such. There are a number of obvious benefits for those that sign up: Firstly, there are the cost-saving benefits to be had. We pay our graduates a fair wage, but one that is in line with their level of experience, so we are able to pass on these cost savings to our partners. Secondly, we only employ graduates of real quality, all are interviewed for the position and have to demonstrate high levels of creative flair and good technical competency. Our partners therefore, get to work with some of the best, fresh, local, creative talent. The quality of ever-growing Academy portfolio is testament to this. Thirdly, our partners can harness all the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) benefits that the scheme provides, taking the opportunity to broadcast their involvement through their news, PR and social media channels. They are also able to proudly announce that they are investing in people and supporting the local economy.

What are the benefits of the academy for graduates?
In short, our academicians get a fabulous start to their professional careers. They get paid a fair wage, and are fully supported and mentored throughout their time with us. Being an experienced higher education lecturer myself, I’m able to oversee their transition from ‘students’ to ‘professionals’ in a friendly, supportive, yet professional environment. And because Toucan is such a well established company (nearly 19 years old) they also get to work on wide range of exciting, and often prestigious projects, building an enviable portfolio in the process. Past academicians have moved onto successful careers in the creative industries, and speak very highly of the opportunity that the Toucan Academy game them.

How do businesses get involved?
To make the scheme viable, we need businesses and organisations to ‘sign up’, committing an agreed number of hours on a rolling quarterly basis. We recognise that many want to see the benefits of the scheme before committing, so we recommend that those interested commission us to undertake a couple of ’trial' projects, which are costed at Academy rates. Assuming everyone is happy, we then agree a way forward that suits the individual business.

What kind of work do the academy graduates do?
Our academicians work on a wide range of materials, and those with both a printed and digital output. And because our partners work in a diverse range of sectors (both public, private and third) the list is endless. From branding and identity work, to website and simple press adverts, and from stylish corporate brochures and internal-facing comms materials to point-of-sale, packaging and promotional items. It is this variety that makes the Academy experience so dynamic and rewarding.

How do businesses find out more?
For those who would like to know more about the Academy, please call me on 01392 438463, or email me  to request a brochure and/or an initial informal meeting.

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