Top agencies come together to address serious lack of diversity in London’s digital economy

  •  88.8% of employees in digital are white while 72% of London’s primary school children are black, asian or ethnic minority
  • women take up less than 40% of roles in sector

Today (26 February 2019), Hobs 3D joins forces with a partnership of top digital agencies to collectively launch Flipside - a ground-breaking, industry-led talent training and development programme in digital product design for talented, unemployed or underemployed young people aged 18-25 year olds from Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest.

The programme is a collaboration between A New Direction and the Skills Lab with funding and support from the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC). Learners will receive world-class insights and training delivered by four founding agencies (Beyond, Made by Many, Sennep, ustwo) and five new delivery agencies joining for this 2nd round (Reading Room, BIO Agency, Designit, Pixeled Eggs, and This Place). Hobs 3D is a host partner. Now running in its second year, Flipside was a finalist in D&AD’s Impact Awards in 2018, with all 12 trainees entering full-time employment by the end of the programme.

Today 12 talented young people from groups traditionally underrepresented in the digital industry, begin a ground-breaking three month training course designed to be experiential, practical, collaborative and broad, with the aim for them to become digital pioneers of the future, sending a signal to industry to urgently update its approach to diversity and inclusivity in the workforce.

Kirstie Buchanan, Marketing Director of Reading Room said: We are really looking forward to working and collaborating with this years’ batch of Flipsiders. We’re delighted to be working with other like-minded agencies and learning providers to craft a program that gives young people valuable exposure to the digital and creative industry.

Paul Brickell, Executive Director of Regeneration and Community Partnerships, said:
‘There are thousands of jobs in creative and digital technologies coming to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the surrounding area in the next few years and we want to make sure that local young people have the skills and experience to take advantage of these fantastic opportunities. We are delighted to carry on working with these cutting-edge creative digital agencies to offer young east Londoners the opportunity to develop these skills.’

Oliver Benjamin, Director of Employment and Skills, A New Direction said:
‘Flipside really leads the way in addressing the skills gap in the digital industry, and the wider diversity crisis that is an unfortunate reality in this sector. We are giving world-class training and first rate opportunities to those who are under-represented - giving them a voice, and saying that it’s not acceptable to be overlooking this untapped pool of talent any longer. At scale, this has the potential to really change industry.’

The programme aims to:

1. Train young East Londoners to become digital pioneers - setting them up for success in an ever-changing industry, equipping them with the mindsets, skills and behaviours that allow them to adapt and see opportunities where others might see barriers.

2. Address the serious lack of diversity in the sector - providing opportunities for talented young people from groups traditionally underrepresented in the digital industry, including: non-graduates, women and non-binary people, people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds, and deaf, disabled and neuro-diverse people.

3. Create the ripple that becomes the wave - through Flipside we want to have a wide and tangible impact in terms of diversifying the wider industry. We will share what we learn with industry to HR practices in London’s digital industries, changing mind-sets and opening up more opportunities for talented and diverse young people to enter the industry.