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Breaking Down Barriers to Industry – D&AD and Google partner to expand Shift night school globally

The free educational programme for aspiring creatives from non-traditional backgrounds will now reach more people

Shift is D&AD's free industry-led night school for emerging creatives who don't have a university-level degree. It tackles barriers to entry into the creative industry by providing an opportunity for emerging talent to hone their skills, establish a network and develop their portfolios. Consisting of industry-set briefs, talks and mentorship, Shift provides a supportive and educational space for creatives who face barriers to access higher education and subsequent employment within the creative industries. The result – a wider range of voices and perspectives entering into the creative industry.

Since 2016, Shift has accelerated the careers of 123 self-made creatives who have completed the programme in London or New York, but Shift is growing...

Applications for the 2021 London intake for the new D&AD Shift with Google programme have just opened. The partnership will enable D&AD to take Shift to three more cities over the next three years, whilst an online version of the night school will reach even more aspiring creatives around the world. We know that the industry needs more diverse talent. Find it here.

“There has never been a more important time to extend and support the opportunities available to those who don't come into the industry through the conventional doorways”

D&AD Shift with Google will take place in Sydney for the first time in 2021, and will be introduced into two further cities over the next three years, as well as the launch of new digital trainings that aim to democratise access to world-class learning. The partnership will also facilitate the introduction of specialist modules into the curriculum in Advertising, Digital Design, Graphic Design and Production.

In addition, 2021 will see the introduction of Shift agency. Modelled on an agency set-up, designed to provide real-world work experience, opportunities and get work under the belts of participants for their portfolios. The optional learning tool add-on to the programme is a workforce comprised entirely of Shift participants past and present, working on real briefs for a list of client brands that any agency would be proud to work on.

 

“78% of Shift alumni in London have entered into paid creative employment, compared to only 41% of design graduates and just 24%”

At a time when the creative industry must prioritise diversity and inclusivity in the workforce, Shift enables creative companies to tap into a pool of diverse talent, voices and perspectives, and strives to build an industry which is reflective and relevant to society at large. Statistics collated in 2019 showed that since completing the night school, 78% of Shift alumni in London have entered into paid creative employment, compared to only 41% of design graduates and just 24% of media graduates employed in their sectors six months after graduation.

Ben Malbon, Senior Director at Google in EMEA, commented: "Diversity is an engine of creativity. There has never been a more important time to extend and support the opportunities available to those who don't come into the industry through the conventional doorways. We've been great admirers of the work of the Shift team at D&AD for many years, and it's a privilege to be involved with the team there to expand the scale and impact of their work. We're excited about what this partnership can grow into."

The 2021 D&AD Shift with Google London programme is now open for applications from aspiring creatives without traditional, university-level qualifications. This year, successful applicants will gain a place in the night school running from June to September 2021. As part of Shift, applicants will get the opportunity to work on a diverse range of projects that reflect the latest trends and topics of the industry, brought together in a final showcase of creative work in November 2021.


Head to Shift London to apply now, and if you are interested in offering placements or participating in mentorship email shift@dandad.org. 

If your brand or client is interested in sponsoring Shift, contact partnerships@dandad.org

 

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