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DEPT® launches internship programme for young Black talent 

Alexandra Moorhouse
Alexandra Moorhouse
Senior Marketing Manager
Length
3 min read
Date
19 April 2023

Global digital agency DEPT® today announces a new internship scheme, Ignite, to help tackle underrepresentation of Black individuals in the industry.

The agency is offering five three-month internships specifically to Black individuals across client services, development, design, copywriting and strategy, based out of its Manchester office. 

In the UK, Black talent comprises only 3% of the advertising industry workforce. Ignite is one of DEPT®’s first steps in helping to close this gap. Each intern will receive one-on-one mentorship and management from existing Black employees, as well as the opportunity to work on projects for clients including eBay, Gumtree, Ancestry and more. 

“It is DEPT®’s belief that we simply cannot deliver the world’s best work with an unbalanced team. If we want to work with and for the best global brands, we need an inclusive team with a wide range of perspectives and experiences,” said Melissa Hermitt, Managing Director – Design and Technology at DEPT®. “But Black talent is grossly underrepresented within the industry. So our aim with Ignite is to provide opportunities to, develop and retain young Black talent while helping us deliver on our mission of delivering outstanding work.” 

The programme is led by Onyx, DEPT®’s employee resource group exclusive to Black employees. Onyx is a coaching programme that exists to support the growth and empowerment of Black employees, helping them to feel safe, supported, be themselves, have brave conversations, set and work through goals and doubts, whilst promoting independent thinking and fostering a relationship of trust.

The Manchester launch follows a successful pilot programme in Toronto, where four interns had access to nine Black mentors, and worked across more than 70 different client projects. The agency has long term aims to roll the scheme out across EMEA. 

DEPT® is partnering with a number of external charities and organisations; including The Prince’s Trust, which helps vulnerable young people who may be struggling at school or facing expulsion, as well as Catch 22, a charity that helps break down barriers to employment for young people.  

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Managing Director, Design & Technology UK

Melissa Hermitt