D&AD Shift

D&AD partners with Google and aims to uncover, support and help new talent

Together they have expanded Shift, D&AD’s free industry-led night school for self-made, non-university educated creators running for the past five years


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 by providing an opportunity for emerging talent to hone their skills, establish a network and develop their portfolios. 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 prioritise 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 which is reflective and relevant to society at large. Statistics collated in 2019 showed that since completing the night school, 78 percent of Shift alumni in London have entered into paid creative employment, compared to only 41 percent of design graduates and just 24 percent of media graduates employed in their sectors six months after graduation.

In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, aspiring creatives are facing more challenges than ever and this new partnership will enable D&AD to successfully expand the Shift programme into a new phase of growth. D&AD Shift with Google will take place in Sydney for the first time in 2021, and will be introduced into two further cities over the next three years, as well as the launch of new digital trainings that aim to democratise access to world-class learning. The partnership will also facilitate the introduction of specialist modules into the curriculum in Advertising, Digital Design, Graphic Design and Production.

In addition, 2021 will see the introduction of Shift Agency, a workforce comprised entirely of Shift participants past and present, working on real client briefs for a list of client brands that any agency would be proud to work on.

The 2021 D&AD Shift with Google London programme 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.



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