Virgin Media Pioneers, an initiative by the telco to help talented youngsters with their careers, has launched The Project – which is offering paid and accredited work experience for 100 unemployed 18-29 year olds in the creative industries across the UK.

The selected 100 will take part in a seven-day programme of paid training in various partner companies up and down the UK. They will each gain an Open College Network (OCN) qualification in Enterprise.

During that time they will also be competing against each other to be recognised and chosen to be part of a final ten people who will be tasked with planning and staging The Project – a festival at London’s Royal Opera House – in just three months.

Selected by a panel including Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, the ten finalists will continue to be paid by Virgin Unite, working and being mentored by Virgin Media experts and others. However, they are ultimately responsible for every decision leading to the event in September.

Virgin Media says that the final ten will be running the festival as a real business venture, so, if they decide to run it for profit, they could potentially earn more.