Top agencies address the serious lack of diversity in London’s digital economy with Flipside

This Place 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 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 second round (BIO Agency, Designit, Pixeled Eggs, Reading Room 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 twelve trainees entering full-time employment by the end of the programme.
Twelve talented young people from groups traditionally under-represented 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.

By sharing what they learn with industry to HR practices in London’s digital industries, Flipside is changing mindsets and opening up more opportunities for talented and diverse young people to enter the industry.

The programme aims to:

  • 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.
  • Address the serious lack of diversity in the sector – providing opportunities for talented young people from groups traditionally under-represented 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.
  • 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.

Case study – Jahkeeta
With a background and education in Game Art, Jahkeeta was first introduced to Beyond through the Flipside course where she stood out with real dedication and bags of enthusiasm. During the Flipside programme, Jahkeeta worked on briefs that raised brand awareness for a start-up denim brand and created a beta app exposing young talent to potential career pathways in creative fields. Both proposals were presented to a large group of industry experts, winning lots of praise and were considered to be a success all around.

After the success of her proposals and her experience and interaction with the Beyond team across the course, Jahkeeta was offered a six-month contractor role. Through her first 3 months as a contractor she proved that she would be a great addition to the creative team – and was offered a permanent role as a Junior Designer.

My biggest achievement has been securing a permanent design position from my paid placement. I knew nothing about this industry when I started Flipside, and have absorbed so much information and learning.”

Case study – Michelle
Michelle, like Jahkeeta was part of the Flipside training programme. Following her experience on the course, Made by Many offered her a 3 month paid internship. Michelle’s strength is mainly rooted in UX. As the sole designer in an autonomous team on the internship, she had to take on a lot more responsibilities – from research and strategic thinking to branding and visual design. Michelle is now employed at Pixeled Eggs as a Junior UX Designer.

My biggest achievement during my internship at Made by Many has been presenting to a live client. This is my first experience working on a real brief with a real client, and this internship has given me the real world experience of what being a designer part of a multi-discipline team is really like.”