D&AD and Google have created a new partnership that expands Shift, D&AD’s free industry-led night school for self-made, non-university educated creators running for the past five years.
The partnership will build on Shift’s work to uncover, support and ultimately help secure jobs for diverse creative talent and commences with the launch of this year’s D&AD Shift with Google in London, which will include briefs set by leading global brands.
Shift, which takes place annually in London and New York, 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. It consists of industry-set briefs, talks and mentorship and provides a supportive and educational space for creatives who face barriers to access higher education and employment.
Shift also enables creative companies to tap into a pool of diverse talent, and works 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.
With even greater challenges being placed in front of creatives due to Covid, the new partnership will enable D&AD to expand the Shift programme into a new phase of growth. 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. It will also launch of new digital trainings to democratise access to world-class learning and 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, a workforce comprised entirely of Shift participants past and present, working on real client briefs for a list of client brands that any agency would be proud to work on.
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.
Paul Drake, foundation director at D&AD, commented, “Agencies and brands need and want their creative teams to be more representative of the people they are creating for – but that diversity can be impossible to find if the only place you look for it is art and design schools. By getting behind D&AD Shift with Google they can support and employ incredible individuals who challenge the assumption that talent only resides in a few universities. For five years Shift has consistently matched self-made talent to opportunities in industry. Jobs have been the result – and they will continue to be the key metric in our exciting new partnership with Google”
Ben Malbon, senior director at Google in EMEA, stated, “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.”
Find more information about the D&AD Shift with Google London programme, including entry details and submission deadlines on the D&AD website. Details about D&AD Shift with Google New York and Sydney will be announced shortly.