Lucy Watson is the new project manager for Stepladder Worldwide and is a success story for Sevens7 Ltd’s ambitions to revitalise society’s corporate relationship with the next generatio
Lucy Watson is the new project manager for Stepladder Worldwide and is a success story for Sevens7 Ltd’s ambitions to revitalise society’s corporate relationship with the next generation. Stepladder Worldwide is an initiative which is changing the game for young people in the events industry. Created as part of the Sevens7 Ltd CSR programme, their youth employment and development scheme truly has the potential to actualise the dreams of a generation in the events industry and beyond. In just one short year, they have gotten the attention of the industry, winning awards at both the Event Production Awards 2012 and the UK Event Awards 2012
A symbol of success for the Stepladder mission, Lucy grew up in Hertfordshire studying Music Technology and Business. Further education put Lucy on the path to internships, a way into the music industry gaining London experience but without university – it’s not for everyone. After starting a year’s internship with The People’s Music Awards (a company championing unsigned music) Lucy worked on the 2010 awards, a high profile event with celebrity names hosting – Stephen K Amos, Howard Marks, Eddy Temple-Morris and Gail Porter to name a few. From here, Lucy built contacts, relationships and then moved onto the Ministry of Sound – working in admin and then promoted to the design team to run the department next to the senior artworker.
Tech savvy and creative
From Ministry of Sound, the next step was Sevens7. Lucy says, “I found out about Sevens7 through Linked In and thought the projects they worked in were incredible. I didn’t go to university myself and so I know the importance of practical skills in the industry. Stepladder is very much about empowerment of youths which I think is incredibly important. So many businesses now need youths who are tech savvy and creative to help them expand in fast changing environments.”
Lucy Watson’s brainchild is STEP OUT!, a new networking and industry showcase that happens every month – the best opportunity for young people to mingle with the big names and best in the creative industries that really matter. STEP OUT aims to provide for every young person – from the individuals wanting experience and making their first moves, or for the budding musicians with talent but lacking the right connections or even the up and coming comedians wanting that first connection that will lead to their first Fringe show. This networking event showcases the finest of the events world; Stepladder Worldwide and Sevens7 utilise their hard-earned contacts to invite those from all spheres of creativity – from brands to festivals to events and more, the key-note speakers impart knowledge impossible to gather anywhere else away from the traditional corporate environment. Through breaking down those barriers of traditional networking, information gathering and talent showcasing, STEP OUT! is breaking the barriers that prevent young people from turning their creativity into their livelihood.
Looking to get into the events industry
So why Stepladder? Lucy Watson brought common sense to the agenda. “It seemed silly to me that we had such a wide pool of eager young people looking to get into the industry and such high profile clients who wanted young people but nether met in the middle.” Step out is the unique networking nights that invited both to the relaxed gig setting, providing a chance to chat to people in the industry and ‘maybe get a job out of it!’
“The best thing about this networking event is that it’s for everyone. It’s very contact based so that even if you’re not brave enough to talk to clients you can talk to other young people who will tell you about opportunities; young people who are doing it for real.”
Networking isn’t everything, and so Stepladder provide invaluable information, advice and guidance for young people trying to get into the creative industries. Traditionally competitive, often the best and brightest find doors closed because taking a chance on today’s talent isn’t recession-proof recruitment and creative industries can’t afford risk. In a world where risk and innovation are no longer synonymous, Stepladder opens all of the doors to young people.
“What’s inspiring about working with young people is how creative they can be! It’s good to be able to help young people achieve their potential, education is great but there is a fair amount of people who can’t access it.
“I’ve met plenty of people who didn’t go to college and it hasn’t stopped them achieving their dreams and potential, that’s what is so great about apprenticeships and internships.”
Paid jobs and internships
Matching Lucy’s passion for diversity in life, they advertise opportunities from paid jobs to internships, and some of the massive names in the industry have advertised with Stepladder. If the chance to work with MTV, The Brits, Festival Republic, or Ibiza Rocks and more appeals, then Stepladder is carving out name for itself as the place to go for the credible opportunities and experience. For constant updates on industry events and opportunities as they arrive, it would be wise to follow them on Twitter.
Based in our capital city, Stepladder was first conceived in 2008, and its existence stands as testament to the potential of the future generation. Graduates and apprentices developed Stepladder, making it an organisation that understands contemporary creativity at its heart. Stepladder has taken the idea of ‘entry-level staffing’, and shared the good fortune.
I asked Lucy what her best moment with Stepladder Worldwide was, and her top three achievements in life. Launching Step Out! made it into her top three achievements, because “a lot of people have benefited from it, artists who’ve been signed to agencies and young people who’ve got work placements.
“I don’t think I can pinpoint one best moment, it’s all been amazing. From going into universities and colleges and talking to young people, to working on festivals and events. I’ve met a lot of really inspiring people this year and I hope that Stepladder as a package inspires others. Hopefully our best moment at the end of the year will be winning awards for innovation and projects this year!”
To be a part of Stepladder and take your creativity to the next level, head to the website www.stepladderworldwide.com – to contact them directly and kickstart your career, firstname.lastname@example.org.