D&AD partners Google to expand Shift night school globally

Shift is a free educational programme for aspiring creatives from non-traditional backgrounds.

D&AD Shift: partnership with Google will allow programme to expand globally
D&AD Shift: partnership with Google will allow programme to expand globally

D&AD has partnered Google to expand Shift, the organisation’s free night school for talent from non-traditional creative backgrounds.

The partnership launches with the new D&AD Shift with Google in London, a programme that will hand participants briefs set by top global brands. The London night school will run from June to September 2021, with a final showcase in November, and applications are now open. 

With Google, this year D&AD Shift is also expanding to Sydney for the first time and will introduce two further cities over the next three years.

The expanded school will include new specialist modules in advertising, digital design, graphic design and production, as well as additional digital training to help democratise access to creative education. 

Later this year D&AD and Google will also launch Shift Agency, a workforce comprising only former and current Shift participants, who will work on real client briefs for brands. 

D&AD launched Shift in 2016 and it takes place each year in London and New York. The 12-week programme includes industry-set briefs, talks and mentorship and is open to creatives who face barriers to access higher education and employment. 

D&AD said the partnership with Google will allow it to bring Shift into the next phase of growth, as aspiring creatives face even greater challenges amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Paul Drake, foundation director at D&AD, said: “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, added: “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.”

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