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BFS spearheads state school outreach programme

The initiative is led by Brixton Finishing School and supported by WPP and Mail Metro Media, among others

By creative salon

Brixton Finishing School, alongside organisations including WPP, Mail Metro Media, KFC, Founders4Schools and Common People, is spearheading a state school outreach programme to raise awareness of advertising as a career choice.

The ADventures initiative aims to reach 100,000 schoolchildren aged between 14 and 18 from under-represented backgrounds in its pilot year. It will see Brixton Finishing School alumni, members of the Common People network, and industry supporters return to their schools to deliver an assembly highlighting the various roles within the industry.

It was conceived by BFS’ Yasmin Arrigo and is based on the insight that many students express a wish that they’d known about the industry when they were at school.

From November, supporters of the project, which was named by Wolff Olins, will be invited to return to their school or will be partnered with a school with a diverse demographic and armed with a presentation highlighting the different roles young people can do. Interested students wanting to learn more will be invited to join the ‘ADventurers’ community, which will feature bitesize learning and career development tips.

Founder of Brixton Finishing School Ally Owen said: “It can feel easier to locate and enter Hogwarts than the ad industry - the route in can be as mythical as Platform 9 ¾, which only reveals itself to the chosen few a couple of times a year.

"ADventure works to resolve this, creating much needed awareness, a clear pathway to success and a community of fellow ‘ADventurers’ who will enjoy enriching encounters and content from our partners so when they are of an age to enter The AD-Cademy or Brixton Finishing School they know it’s a place built for them, to help them win a role.”

Common People’s founder Jed Hallam added: “The volume of Common People in our industry continues to decline, and this represents a huge challenge as we look to reignite the creativity that once made the UK the creative centre of excellence for the advertising world.

"A diverse workforce will go a long way to addressing that challenge, and that's why ADventure is such an incredibly important initiative from Brixton Finishing School. We're asked to think about our careers from an incredibly young age, and if the creative industries don't feature in those thoughts (either prompted or not), adland runs the risk of losing out on a huge amount of talented Common People."

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