The free virtual course from Brixton Finishing School will equip young people from challenged places in the UK with knowledge and employability to enter the creative industries
Developed by the award-winning employment inclusion project, Brixton Finishing School, the AD-Cademy’s aim is to ensure the progression of multicultural and working class talent into the creative and technology industries. The programme has been designed with national reach and accessibility in mind, to ensure that fresh talent from the 20 most challenged places in the UK and Scotland, including Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow, stop being overlooked by agencies which can have a London-leaning bias when it comes to recruitment.
Ally Owen, Founder of Brixton Finishing School said: “The AD-cademy is a game-changing moment for the rebalancing of the future talent pipeline at scale. Young people in Liverpool, Burnley, Manchester, Glasgow and all across the country will have access to amazing teachings from some of the stars of the creative and media industries. The AD-Cademy will be an awesome self-serve learning platform of lectures, as well as showcases and events that will enrich young people’s knowledge of the advertising industry.
The programme is packed with industry masterclasses and professional skills workshops. It has been created to upskill participants in key aspects of marketing, creativity, and digital, help build their networks and increase the chance of them securing a role through employability workshops including personal branding, accountability, interview tips, and CV writing. The course modules have been designed to allow participants to learn from home and fit it in around their schedule, and graduates will have an opportunity to be placed in the industry at an agency. 200 young people are actively learning in the course so far.
The AD-Cademy is supported by big name sponsors including KFC, and will feature presentations and workshops from some of the biggest advertising and media agencies and technology partners, including Adam & Eve DDB, Saatchi & Saatchi, R/GA, GSK, Mail Metro Media, Clear Channel, Kinetic, Wolff Olins, Blis, RAPP, AD YOU LIKE, Anomaly, Amplify, Brand Advance, Oglivy, 21st Century Brand, Oliver, Westmill, M&C Saatchi and 1000 Heads.
Launched in 2018, the Brixton Finishing School is the brainchild of Ally Owen, former exec at Unruly, MailOnline and Yahoo. Ally saw the urgent need to diversify talent in advertising and encourage untapped talent from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds – whether multicultural, neuro-diverse, or female – into the industry through training and work experience.
UK, 2021: The AD-Cademy, a free, 8-week virtual course has officially launched nationwide, kickstarting improved access to the advertising, marketing and digital industries for younger talent, no matter their background. The course is targeted at 18-25 year-olds across the UK, to prioritise the next generation of creative stars entering the advertising industries in the wake of diminishing opportunities caused by the pandemic. Owen concluded: “Covid-19 is having a hugely negative impact on young people’s futures across the country. Internships and work experience opportunities have been put on ice as businesses look to stay afloat, and entry-level roles have all but disappeared. Brixton Finishing School’s mission has always been to break down the barriers that prevent young people from working class, multicultural and neurodiverse backgrounds having an equal chance to succeed in their careers. It’s also incredibly important to challenge companies to see the massive value you get from a diverse and inclusive workforce.”