Upriser by Saatchi & Saatchi

Saatchi & Saatchi's Upriser announces three new creative partners, making platform UK-wide

Cardiff-based Cowshed, IMA-HOME in Leeds and Leith Edinburgh have signed up as partners, with dedicated programmes set to launch in September

By Creative Salon

Saatchi & Saatchi has today announced three new partners for Upriser, the free creative schools’ platform it launched last year.

Supporting Upriser’s ambition to expand beyond London and reach secondary school students in every corner of the UK, the new partnerships will see the programme roll out in Wales, Scotland and the North of England for the first time.

In Cardiff, award winning creative agency Cowshed has partnered with Willows High School, where a bespoke creative programme will kick off in September. Initially focusing on a mentoring programme for year 7 students, Cowshed will work to support the school’s commitment to foster a sense of belonging for everyone, with a calendar of wider sessions, career guidance and guest presentations from the agency’s creative partners in South Wales set to launch for older students too. Upriser by Cowshed forms a part of the agency’s wider commitment to work with causes it believes in to deliver meaningful impact from Wales to the world.

In the Yorkshire region, global marketing agency IMA-HOME will be building a programme that focuses on creating meaningful opportunities such as apprenticeships and paid placements. As a fully integrated agency, IMA-HOME will offer students at its partner school, Brigshaw High School, the opportunity to learn across various skill sets - from coding to operations, people to strategy - to instill understanding and expertise that can be applied across a range of creative roles. The programme will encourage students to be curious, and to look outside of what they know as their future, to do things with pride, purpose and courage, and to understand the value of commitment. 

With homes in both Edinburgh and Manchester, Leith is setting out to support local communities in both regions through its Upriser programme. In Edinburgh, Leith is partnering with Leith Academy, initially focusing on inspiring young people in S3 and S4 about the different opportunities a career in the creative services could offer them post-school, along with giving young people the opportunity to explore what it means to work on live briefs. Leith will work to help support Leith Academy achieve their seven ‘Skills for Life’ that ladder back to their vision of “Success in Learning for All”.

Also partnering with The East Manchester Academy (TEMA), Leith will help TEMA make sure young people leave school with the skills they need to succeed. Leith will help students at TEMA understand what career opportunities exist within the creative services industries and help them realistically get there.

Cowshed, IMA-HOME and Leith join Saatchi & Saatchi as creative partners for Upriser, alongside ITV, who were announced as a founding partner for the programme in February. Initially partnering with Kensington Aldridge Academy, located within a mile of ITV’s new White City HQ.

Upriser was founded by Saatchi & Saatchi in 2022 in response to what the agency describes as a ‘creative crisis’: a sustained lack of funding for creative and cultural programmes in school - equating to just £9.40 a year per student - which is on track to deal a devastating blow to the UK’s creative output due to a lack of future talent coming into the industry.

Designed to inspire with the power of creativity, Upriser offers young people aged 11-18 a real, tangible introduction and route into the creative industries. To help inspire more future talent across the UK, Upriser is inviting any British creative company that wants to facilitate meaningful change to enroll as a school partner.

Partners who sign up are matched with schools local to them, and work closely with Upriser and Saatchi & Saatchi to implement a long term, meaningful programme within that school, tailored to each company’s specialisms, skills and capabilities. Partner businesses and schools are also given access to a 70-page open-source playbook, which offers a sustainable blueprint of multi-layered 1:1 mentoring programmes, lesson plans, workplace visits and other creative initiatives, and is informed by Saatchi & Saatchi’s three year partnership with Harris Academy Greenwich.

Vicki Spencer-Francis, Managing Director of Cowshed said: ‘We are incredibly proud to be Saatchi & Saatchi’s partner in Wales for their game changing Upriser programme. Upriser aligns perfectly with the work we carry out across the education and creative sectors and goes hand in hand with our commitment to giving back to communities in our home city. What’s more, the new curriculum in Wales gives us the perfect opportunity to develop a programme that fits 21st century teaching, reflecting the ambition of education in Wales, as well as our ambition for the creative sector.’

Alexandra Uprichard, Managing Director, IMA-HOME says: “We are delighted to have been matched with Brigshaw High School. We will support the school in enriching the curriculum, inspiring pupils as to what future careers in advertising could look like and helping them with the real-world skills to make those opportunities a reality. We see this as a long-term partnership and our ultimate goal is to play a pivotal role in bringing a more diverse set of skills and experiences to the whole industry in the region.”

Victoria Milne, Head of Strategy, Leith says: “Upriser by Leith forms part of the agency’s wider commitment to encourage people coming into the creative services from non-traditional routes, and strengthens diversity across gender, social background and ethnic identity. We are delighted to be partnering with both Leith Academy and East Manchester Academy to inspire young people and give them ideas of what a career in the creative services could bring them.”

Sarah Jenkins, Managing Director, Saatchi & Saatchi adds, “With an eye-watering £120bn contribution to the nation’s GDP our creative industries are truly exceptional. However it’s a busted flush without a pipeline of young talent. Which is why we are so excited that the Upriser platform has gone national, powered up by brilliant agencies in Wales, Scotland and the North of England. Alongside ITV, our founding partner, we’re looking forward to learning from each other and becoming a true collective to ensure the power of creativity is hardwired into education and unlocking the next generation of creators, makers and fixers.”

Any businesses wishing to learn more and get involved in Upriser can enquire via https://saatchiupriser.co.uk/.


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