Bright Purple has always been committed to giving back where it was possible. It’s main focus across the years has been in two areas, the homelessness agenda and helping young people to take their first steps to a career. In 2012 we launched an experimental apprenticeship initiative called the Bright Futures Programme, inspired by our founder Nick Price’s own experiences of starting at the bottom, leaving school with limited education and limited support, to go on to build the company Bright Purple. He wanted to prove that given the right encouragement, support and backing, most young people have it in them to succeed, even those who’s start in life isn’t as privileged as others.
So we invited a group of local Edinburgh based youths who were long term unemployed and/or had left school with few qualifications to apply for the 6 month apprenticeship. Working down from an initial group of 20, we whittled it down to 12 and following that and after an intensive short-listing process, we recruited the final six candidates for the programme. We had our cohort and now the programme was real, it was full steam ahead,
Over the next six months our young apprentices, all aged between 16 and 20, worked towards an SVQ in Business Administration, taking on a range of challenging UK and international projects to develop their knowledge of the business world. We chose a partner to help us get the young apprentices their qualifications in the shape of the excellent Limelight Careers and their support in the process was invaluable. The recruits worked alongside inspirational and dynamic mentors from Bright Purple’s sales and administrative team and its extensive network of external global contacts. They also met with a number of inspiring people during the programme, including Scotland’s serial entrepreneur and home grown billionaire, Sir Tom Hunter; CEO of FootballAid Craig Paterson, Scotland’s First Minister at the time, one of Scotland’s brightest lights in the tech world, Chris van der Kuyl and even Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammed Yunus, who was visiting Edinburgh.
At the conclusion of the Bright Futures Programme, two of the apprentices took on full time positions within the business, going on to develop their expertise in hands-on support roles. What was totally amazing was that all 6 of the apprentices immediately ended up in employment even though they didn’t all join Bright Purple, with one going on to work for a global bank where he remains today, growing in both experience and confidence.
Overall the programme was a major success, funded in total by Bright Purple and we were successful in picking up a Skills Development Scotland Modern Apprenticeship Award for our commitment in the promotion of opportunities for young people. We were also visited by Scotland’s First Minister at the time Alex Salmond MSP and his Youth Minister, Angela Constance who had heard what we were doing with the youth programme and commended Bright Purple for our efforts and the firm’s contribution in helping address long term unemployment amongst young people.
We ask you to take some time and read about their experiences, the changes it made to all of their lives, from their own perspective here at their blog.
Bright Purple CEO Nick Price said: “The Bright Futures Programme was a dream goal for me and personally extremely inspirational. We saw six young people complete an amazing personal and professional journey, all of them achieving so much in a relatively short space of time with us. They came to us as very raw recruits, some of them didn’t even read the news, they were out of touch with what was going on out with their own bubble, but after six months of getting them directly involved in a series of engaging projects we saw them all make huge strides forward as both recruitment professionals and individuals. It is pleasing to remain in contact with some of the group now as friends and I am proud that they all made a difference.”
Please scroll down to watch a Scottish Enterprise video about our experience.