D&AD has partnered with Google to expand Shift, the organization's free night school for talent from non-traditional creative backgrounds. The new partnership commences with the launch of this year's D&AD Shift with Google in London, a program that will include briefs set by leading global brands.
Since 1980, D&AD New Blood has stimulated creative excellence by nurturing emerging talent. Taking place in London and New York annually, Shift tackles barriers to entry into the creative industry. 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 employment.
At a time when the industry must prioritize and respond to diversity and inclusivity in the workforce, Shift also enables creative companies to tap into a pool of diverse talent and strives to build an industry that 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.
"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," commented Paul Drake, Foundation Director at D&AD. "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."
The 2021 D&AD Shift with Google London program 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.