D&AD has announced the launch of the D&AD Shift with Google programme in Sydney. Shift is D&AD's free, four month industry-led night school which aims to uncover, support and secure jobs for self-made creative talent without traditional degree qualifications.
Supported by the local Sydney industry, the programme champions unique and underrepresented voices to challenge the assumption that great creative talent can only be found within a small number of universities and communities.
D&AD’s New Blood programme has aimed to stimulate creative excellence by nurturing emerging talent into the industry. Shift builds on this mission by aiming to open access to the commercial creative industries for talent from all backgrounds. It is grounded in the belief that diverse thinking leads to better creative outcomes.
The programme provides non-university educated creatives an opportunity to refine their skills, build a network and develop their portfolios. Through industry briefs, talks and mentorship, Shift hopes to provide a supportive and educational space for creatives. In 2019, six months after completing the Shift program, 60% of alumni in New York and London have entered paid creative employment.
The launch in Sydney follows ongoing initiatives developed by D&AD and The Glue Society in partnership with Google to provide emerging creatives with an opportunity to work with industry leaders to develop their skills. The programme is also responding to recent research conducted by Diversity Arts Australia which found that although CALD (Culturally and linguistically diverse) Australians make up 39% of the population, they are disproportionately underrepresented in key leadership roles, with only 10% of CEOs, 14% of creative directors and 12% of senior executives identifying as CALD, stemming from a lack of diversity within the hiring process at junior level.
The Sydney programme will see D&AD partner with Adidas to set a ‘brief in a day’, which will enable participants to develop their portfolios and creative approaches, while giving them direct access to the brand’s creative teams.
Paul Drake, foundation director at D&AD, said, “With so much of our focus on building a fairer future for the creative industries, it’s important we continue to expand our programs to allow agencies across the globe access to more inclusive hiring practices. Expansion into territories like Sydney, that have a globally renowned creative community, will allow us to spread the core mission of Shift - that great creative talent is not born solely in universities and colleges, and in certain parts of society. Both our London and New York programs have helped nurture untapped creative talent into professional opportunities and we are extremely excited to push for the same in hubs such as Sydney and beyond.”
Earlier this year, D&AD announced a partnership with Google. This has enabled the expansion of the Shift program into Sydney alongside 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 and the introduction of specialist modules into the curriculum in advertising, digital design, graphic design and production.
Successful applicants will gain a place on the four month night school running from 15 November 2021. This will provide an 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 on 4 April 2022.
The 2021 D&AD Shift with Google Sydney program is now open for applications. For further information including entry details and submission deadlines, go here