ERIC app

ERIC is a free app dedicated to helping young people explore, up-skill and get work in the creative industries.

BN1 chats with Samantha Hornsby to discover how this new platform works and how others can kickstart their career.

What led you to create ERIC and when did it begin?

My best friend/business partner and I actually experienced the problem we’re now solving decades ago when we were at school. We both wanted to get into the creative industries when we were growing up, but had never been given any careers guidance about the creative world. So we never thought it was an option and we both ended up working in industries that didn’t excite us or suit us as a result. Fast forward to 2016 when we discovered that young people were still experiencing the same problem we had at school – so we decided it was about time someone did something about it. So we set out to put the creative industries on the careers education map and ERIC was born!

In its first iteration, ERIC was a series of alternative careers festivals about the creative industries – we built an audience of about 200,000 young people who registered for our events but then had to pivot due to the pandemic shutting our events down. So we ended up creating the second iteration of ERIC, The ERIC app, which we built over lockdown and launched this year.

How does the app work and is it free to use?

The app aggregates all the helpful careers-related stuff from across the internet that will help people learn about the creative industries and get their foot in the door, and we put everything into easy-to-navigate categories to browse through. It’s meant to be a tool that organises the chaos of the internet for you – our slogan is ‘we do the searching, so you don’t have to’. And it’s completely free to use!

Which creative industries does the app focus on?

There are 16 different industries that make up the creative industries, and we focus on all of them. The 16 industries are:

  • Advertising, Marketing & PR
  • Architecture
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Culture & Heritage
  • Design
  • Digital Media
  • Fashion
  • Film & TV
  • Gaming
  • Music
  • Podcasts, Radio & Audio
  • Photography & Videography
  • Publishing
  • Theatre & Performing Arts
  • Writing & Journalism
  • VFX & Animation

Which age group is ERIC aimed at and can anyone use it? Do I need qualifications?

ERIC is aimed at 16-25 year olds but is available for anyone to use, really. And you don’t need qualifications at all! It’s for people in any situation, whether they are in education, employment or training, or none of the above. I don’t have any qualifications past A-levels so it’s really important to me that the app is accessible to people who are pursuing alternative career paths or need extra support!

What kind of resources do you aggregate?

Podcasts, articles, interviews, resources, grants, competitions, outreach programmes, initiatives, paid freelance gigs, entry-level jobs and anything in between. All the things scattered across the web that are related to getting a career in any of the 16 creative industries.

How do you work with creative companies?

Businesses in any of the 16 creative industries who want to connect with potential employees can promote their career-related opportunities on the app, amongst the content & opportunities we aggregate. It’s a seamless and targeted way to get the next generation of employees to know about your brand. If you have an entry-level job, outreach initiative, careers event or anything careers-related you want to get in front of young people looking to get their foot in the door, this is the platform you should be promoting it on.

You also work with schools, don’t you?

Yes, we believe the promotion of careers in the creative industries needs to start as early as possible. So we created a micro-site for staff who want to teach their students about the basics of the 16 creative industries and the opportunities within them. Anyone can access that on our website without having to download the app. 

What’s the big aim for ERIC?

We want to completely redefine everyone’s perception of careers in the creative industries. Most people think the creative industries are limited to ‘the arts’, but it’s so much bigger than that. It actually employs 2.3 million people, and there are a further 1 million doing creative jobs in non-creative industries. It’s growing at 5x the rate of the wider economy and we should be encouraging young people to pursue careers in this sector as much as possible, because this is the future of the workforce! It’s future proof and lucrative – our job at ERIC is to lead this movement and enable every young person in the world to access the creative industries.

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