Dentsu Aegis Network pledges 50,000 hours to inspire the next generation through new schools programme, The Code
Dentsu Aegis Network today announces the launch of The Code, a UK schools programme delivered by its own employees and aimed at making a positive impact on the next generation of talent.
The Code is a three-year programme launching in March across 40 UK schools, delivering a series of talks and digital skills workshops to 14-18 year old students from a broad range of backgrounds, providing first-hand experience of the advertising and media industry. By 2020, Dentsu Aegis Network is aiming to have donated 50,000 hours to schools, helped 15,000 young people, and have recruited at least 50% of all apprentices through the programme to provide group agencies with a more diverse range of young talent.
Dentsu Aegis Network currently offers all 4000+ employees two working days a year to make a difference to local communities through volunteering programmes, and has already seen over 300 employees committing their time to The Code. Staff are invited to host workshops for students either in schools or across the group’s agencies, offer mentoring to students both in the classroom and online, inform teachers about the types of opportunities within the industry, and support a prize-winning competition for students to tackle a mock advertising challenge.
The Code, which stands for Creativity, Opportunity, Diversity and Empowerment, will also incorporate wider activity by Dentsu Aegis Network around early careers recruitment, with group-wide work experience and apprenticeship schemes also forming part of the programme later this year. It is also the first scaled social purpose and talent programme of its kind to run across all Dentsu Aegis Network UK agencies and offices.
Tracy De Groose, CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network UK & Ireland said: “We all know that our industry has a talent problem. To profoundly change things, businesses need to revolutionise their approach to talent development and put future workforce strategy at the heart of their business. Over 65% of young people entering school today will end up in jobs that don’t yet exist. Sharing our own career experiences and expertise, encouraging new ways of thinking and the ability to adapt to change, will be hugely important for future talent and our business. Through the Code, we aim to bring to life the power of our people and our network, to make a positive impact on society and the next generation of talent. I genuinely hope that we inspire others in the industry to do the same.”
Dentsu Aegis Network has partnered MyKinda Future, a fast-growing innovator revolutionising the way young people connect with employers, to help engage and encourage schools across the UK to take part in the programme.
MyKinda Future Founder and MD, William Akerman said: “I’m excited to take The Code out to schools across the UK. I truly believe the only way to create a diverse workforce is to engage directly with students from a range of backgrounds to empower them and bring different career routes to life. We’ve being working with a number of businesses who are investing in their future - it’s great to see The Dentsu Aegis team taking a lead in the creative industry and developing a programme that will help break down barriers and bring new recruits into the the industry. I can't wait to hear the feedback from the students and mentors who take part, and longer term seeing a positive change in the wider industry.”
How is the programme being run?
January – March: Sign up and workshops with Year 9s
Behind the scenes we’ve been working closely with our delivery partner, MyKindaFuture who have helped us reach out to 40 schools and engage them in working with us as part of The Code. About 70% of the schools are based in London with a smaller number of schools based in the north of England. Over 150 Dentsu Aegis Network employees will deliver the workshops across the UK.
April – August: Selecting our ‘partner schools’
Once the Year 9 workshops are complete, we will work with MyKindaFuture to select 12 schools, from the pool of 40 schools, to become official partner schools. We will continue to work with these schools over the next 12 months and offer them a range of initiatives and opportunities to get involved in, such as classroom takeovers, mentoring support and work experience to help students really understand our industry.
September – December: Mentoring , Insight Days, Digital Challenge
From September onwards our focus will be on delivering more workshops into schools, hosting career insight days at some of our offices across the UK and offering mentoring support for our newly established partner schools. We will also run a Digital Challenge, which will be open to all schools.
How do you select which schools to support?
The Code will support students from all backgrounds helping them to unlock their potential and open up a world of new opportunities. We will seek to work with a wide mix of schools including those in lower social mobility areas. In selecting our 12 partner schools, we will choose schools based on the criteria above as well as those who have been most engaged with the programme during March.
What agencies/offices are taking part?
The Code is a regional programme, bringing together people from our brands and capabilities across the UK. We are supporting more schools in the areas where we have more of our staff based so the majority of partner schools are based in London with the remainder based in the North of England. For our Edinburgh and Dublin offices, the school system is slightly different from England and we are working with our teams there to see how we can develop a similar programme as part of The Code, later this year.