Restricted social mobility stunts the potential of generations and affects every aspect of your life (even its expectancy). Austerity measures and expensive University education (debt) means talented young people can be trapped in low-income roles, working 2 or 3 minimum wage jobs which leaves them little time to improve their prospects.
The Brixton Finishing School for Digital Talent is a game changer. We believe talent is distributed equally but opportunities are not and wanted to create a premium learning and vocational experience that accelerated 18-25 year-olds Londoners from Multi-Cultural/underrepresented backgrounds (Female, Neurodiverse, Low Income) into the creative/tech/media industries.
We conduct outreach into ‘hard to reach’ groups (they aren’t hard to reach), deliver top rate work readiness training from the best in the business and a pool jobs created just for our graduates at ‘Tier One’ Creative, Media & Advertising companies and within leading brands.
Our 2018 pilot (delivered on a shoestring budget) had a 95% success rate taking 20 young people out of lack of opportunity and into entry-level (majority graduate) roles within 12 weeks of graduation.
It’s taught by the best in the business its students are selected on ‘potential’ (not CVs or qualifications), we fund living cost bursaries (so it’s a true choice e.g. one of our students became homeless, we were able to fund accommodation so they could continue the course/We could cover the job they had to give up to do the course, though the majority still worked 1- 2 jobs).
The Creative Industries tell our stories and heavily influence how we view ourselves and the world. Advertising, in particular, is the one industry that sells everything to everybody but doesn’t represent everyone. 40% of London is from a BAME background and 52% is female. Only 16% of women are creative directors, the industry a mere 15% BAME and there is very poor inclusion of those from low income/neurodiverse. The top tier remains resolutely undiverse.
“If we change those that tell our stories we can change how we view ourselves and our world”
(…. and also we make more money for shareholders and sell more stuff by producing better work… )
The 10-week course is taught by leading names in the Ad Industry and enriched by masterclasses and all day vocational ‘experiences’ at big-name agencies and media owners. Our sponsors create entry-level roles just for our pool of graduates. It is unique in that it’s an ‘end to end’ solution to the creative industries diversity issues.
Our 2020 schedule:
June – September: Brixton Finishing School 30 places
October – Brixton ND – pilot of 12 – 15 students who have left mainstream schooling and have autism
How you can support the change and drive #CompetitiveAdvantage through #PowerinDiversity
Our key requirements at the moment are:
Funding for 2020
The school is not for profit and only exists because of our brilliant sponsors (link to sponsors).
Our partners are integrated into the school as much as they wish (for example a seat on the HR board that shapes selection, Education board (course content), mentoring and masterclasses. It’s a great way of ‘selling’ in your brand to the next gen of media all-stars.
The key advantage for a partner is first pick of the pool of talent. As a sponsor, you will visit the school regularly (if you wish) and no doubt over time a number of students will stand out as a fit for you. Partners get to offer interviews and roles before those who haven’t invested.
Sponsorship Investment tiers…
£14,000 two graduates of BFS
£7000 one graduate of BFS
£3000 set a one day brief
Set up a Bursary in your company name for living costs (Amount TBC)
We pay all students to travel and food and our ambition are to support those who can’t afford to make the choice between their current job (or jobs) (despite lack of prospects) and the career opportunities the course delivers.
We really would like the opportunity to remove the ‘living cost’ barrier to entry for the course – it’s the only way for it to be truly inclusive.
We have ambitious plans for 2020 so do let me know if you’re aware of any companies that have a CSR budget and want to support our initiative.
Experience days / Event days
One day a week the School visits an agency, brand, media owner or conference for an immersion. The 2019 students viewed these as one of the most valuable elements of the course. It’s a chance for your business to inspire, showcase and set briefs and for the talent to understand your brand better (and you them)
We definitely require more mentors for 2020. The commitment is a once a week catch up over the 10-week programme (begins around June/July), usually via Skype, email or on the phone and attendance of one of our speed mentoring sessions.
£24 Billion would be the benefit to the British Economy annually if everyone in the workforce was able to fulfil their potential (Race in the Workplace)
Diverse teams produce better ideas and outcomes (McKinsey)