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Publicis Groupe UK Launches The Open Apprenticeship 

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New scheme to attract ethnic minority and low income talent into the advertising industry 

Publicis Groupe UK Launches The Open Apprenticeship 

A programme launches today (Thursday) to help young people from marginalised communities find jobs in the advertising industry, which is notoriously difficult to access.

The Open Apprenticeship (OA) is an interactive platform, currently in beta, that offers an entry point for people keen to learn the fundamentals of the industry, understand the types of role on offer and the career opportunities available.

The OA is set to reach 10,000 people in its first year alone. The outreach will initially focus on reaching young people from ethnic minority and low income backgrounds and by 2022, the outreach will be widened to attract talent from other underrepresented groups, including disabled people.

The launch of the programme coincides with a well-documented decline in job prospects for young people, which has disproportionately impacted people from ethnic minority and low income backgrounds as well as disabled people.

Annette King, CEO, Publicis Groupe UK, said: “We work in a white middle-class industry and that has to change for the good of society, and because it’ll make this industry stronger. As we emerge from the pandemic, we have a responsibility to build back better – we owe it to ourselves and to society at large. We’ve created a blueprint and we are asking our industry colleagues to join us and help change the face of advertising for the better.” 

Magnus Djaba, CEO of the creative practice, Publicis Groupe UK, said: “Ours is an industry that is closed. An industry full of people who look the same, have similar backgrounds and often upbringing. The irony is it’s also an industry looking for new solutions and innovation, from all the same pools of talent. If you don’t know someone in the industry it’s so hard to see in, to understand the careers and opportunity. The Open Apprenticeship is part of our commitment to open up our industry and we invite anyone interested to join us.”

David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, said: “A creative economy is a diverse economy. As drivers of consumer behaviour, it is imperative that the advertising industry reflects the racial, gendered and sexual makeup of customers in the community. By empowering more young people from marginalised sections of society to acquire a seat on the table, the Open Apprenticeship is a beacon of innovative inclusion.”

Lord Woolley, founder and director of Operation Black Vote and former chair of the advisory group for the Government’s Race Disparity Unit, said: “The Open Apprenticeship should be a corporate game changer. We get this right and we can move the dial in this very important space.”

The scheme will reach talent through partnerships with career advisers, schools, colleges and community groups. Launch partners include Future TalentEd, Brixton Finishing School, Apprentice Nation, MultiVerse, Pathways CTM and the School of Marketing.

The OA is open sourced and offers a platform for other companies and organisations to tap into as a route to talent from underrepresented groups.

Publicis Groupe UK will create new jobs for people who go through the OA. Publicis Groupe UK has set up a partnership with the AA and LHA London to offer discounted rates on safe, serviced accommodation in London to OA candidates who secure jobs with the company.

About the OA:

  • Candidates will be able to work on real briefs from McDonald’s, Marriott International, Fossil and other clients, and receive feedback.

  • Publicis Groupe’s Marcel team built the platform. It’s launching in beta and will evolve in line with feedback from candidates and content from partners.

  • The eight module programme is aimed primarily at 18-21 year olds from ethnic minority and low social mobility backgrounds but there is no upper age limit and anyone can access the platform.

  • The simple step-by-step curriculum has been created by senior strategists from across Publicis Groupe UK’s 22 agencies.

  • Candidates will have access to a pool of mentors from across Publicis Groupe UK as well as being able to attend virtual events and networking forums.

  • There will be a jobs board on the platform.

  • The OA is expected to expand to Publicis Groupe’s US market later this year.


In July 2020, aligned with the global company diversity and inclusion strategy, Publicis Groupe UK published its Embrace Change plan to promote diversity across its agencies, and the wider industry, with three focus areas:

  • INSPIRE: attract more people from diverse backgrounds into the industry

  • ENABLE: remove barriers to entry

  • PROGRESS: create a culture that supports people from underrepresented groups as they progress through the workforce and into leadership roles.


To access the OA.


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Publicis Worldwide, Thu, 25 Feb 2021 13:25:58 GMT