The second cohort of young people in the Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme

12th June 2024

We are delighted to announce the eight young people who have been selected for the second round of the Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme, in partnership with Babbasa and eight creative businesses from the BCI membership community.

Launched with a successful pilot in 2023, the programme is aimed at young people aged 18-30 from under-represented backgrounds, wanting to gain more insight and real experience in the creative industries.

A long-term skills shortage and a lack of workforce diversity are two of the biggest challenges facing the creative industries. The internship initiative, part of BCI’s wider Talent Programme, is designed to help tackle those issues and create more inclusive workplaces.

For the second year of the scheme, another eight brilliant agencies from the Bristol Creative Industries member community have stepped up to provide paid placements for the interns over six months.

bristol creative industries internship programme insights day

Clare Leczycki, Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme manager, explains the process for selecting this year’s cohort:

“Our aim was to make the application process as accessible and open as possible, to give the candidates different scenarios to share their skills and personality. To apply, candidates could share a short video, audio or written piece to illustrate why they were interested in participating in the programme and what they hoped to gain from it. We had over 60 applications for eight placements so it shows there is a lot of interest from young people wanting to work in the creative sector.

“Once applications closed, we held an insights day at the brilliant Gather Round workspace in St Paul’s, Bristol. This was a chance for the host agencies to meet the potential candidates, pitch their internship offers and share more about the nature of their business. We also ran an informal Q&A session for everyone to learn more about each other and the different job roles available in the agency world.

“From here, we shortlisted candidates for the formal interview stage during which we explored each young person’s skills and areas of interest to help us with the selection process. Having a two-part interview process allowed us to see the candidates in a variety of settings and learn more about them, which also helped with the matching process.

“Working in partnership with the team at Babbasa is a key part of our recruitment process. The organisation supports young people from underrepresented groups who are looking to pursue their professional ambitions, by providing them with employment support, such as mentoring, CV writing and interview preparation, to help them achieve their aspirations.

“The Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme, in partnership with the OurCity2030 Pathway into Creative & Tech, is an innovative example of how creative businesses can come together to offer opportunities to young people from ethnic minority and low income households.

“We would like to thank our interview panel Daniel Palmer, Marissa Lewis-Peart and Alli Nicholas for taking the time to meet all of the candidates. This was no small task. Their energy and insights were integral in making the selection process as smooth and effective as possible.

“In order to prepare for this year’s cohort, we have spent the last three months onboarding the host businesses with a variety of training sessions including equity, diversity and inclusion training from Babbasa, mental health training from Bianca Jones at Empower Develop People, and neurodiversity training from Devon Lowndes at Self Agency.

“Ensuring the workplaces are ready to welcome a young person and provide a meaningful placement is a key priority for our programme. Agency life can be pretty hectic and fast-paced, so taking time to consider the experience (onboarding/offboarding, bespoke work plan, mentorship and feedback) is integral to our internship offer. The eight interns have landed roles in content creation, marketing, press and PR, graphic design and strategy.

“The programme brings huge benefits to everyone taking part. We aim to provide the interns with a positive and enriching work placement, while the BCI team and host businesses have the opportunity to learn from the young people. Having different perspectives in the room brings fresh energy, innovation and new ideas.

“It’s a challenging time for many businesses so we are extremely grateful that the participating agencies are willing to invest time and money to support the next generation of creative talent from under-represented backgrounds.”

Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme interns

The agencies and Bristol Creative Industries members participating in the programme are:

Thanks also to Oakwood, Sunhouse Creative and Aer Studios for sponsoring the programme, and to Boomsatsuma and Gather Round as our venue sponsors.

bristol creative industries internship programme cohort two interns

The interns taking part in the 2024 programme are:

  • Elma Hossain (placement at Fox Collective for six months)
  • Fyonh Bui (placements at Proctor + Stevenson and Armadillo)
  • Holly Poon (placements at Taxi Studio and Proctor + Stevenson)
  • Inaz Hussain (placements at Ambitious and Plaster Creative Communications)
  • Jan Andes (placements at McCann and Taxi Studio)
  • Kaden Gardener (placements at Plaster Creative Communications and Ambitious)
  • Shell Pan (placements at The Collaborators and McCann)
  • Werhi Dumuje (placements at Armadillo and The Collaborators)

Read bios for the interns here.

Quotes from the interns

Some of the interns explain what they hope to get out of the programme:

Kaden Gardner:

“Marketing and PR is an area of work that I have been interested in for a while, and is becoming more important with video work in recent years. I hope to gain some knowledge within this career path, and hopefully advance my videography skills as well.”

Inaz Hussain:

“I want to make more connections in the industry and learn about how the whole creative development process in order to establish myself as a multidisciplinary artist. I would love to establish a company or space to help bridge the gap for people to break into the creative industry without the barriers I faced.”

Wheri Dumuje:

“I hope to become a designer who helps everyone have equal access to the same services and throw light through research on areas that are often overlooked.”

Elma Hossain:

“I hope to become more confident in the skills I excel at, what roles interest me and build a solid network of people who have similar interests and goals as me. I’m also looking forward to making good friends and enjoying a great experience!”

Fyonh Bui:

“I hope to gain valuable skills and knowledge, become a reliable professional, inspire and guide junior designers in the future.”

Quotes from participating creative agencies

bristol creative industries internship programme insights day 2

Representatives of the host businesses explain why they are taking part in the programme:

Liam Britnell, Ambitious PR:

“We are excited and proud to be one of the agencies participating in this year’s BCI Internship Programme. We saw last from last year’s cohort the impact that the placements had, and the opportunities it offered to some amazing talent from across the city, so we knew we had to be part of it this time around. We are very much looking forward to welcoming our first placement to the Ambitious PR office.”

Chloe Cottle-Watkins, Armadillo:

“The BCI Internship Programme was a great experience for Armadillo last year. We hired two of the interns from the programme on a permanent basis, and they’ve both been excellent additions to our team.

“We absolutely recognise the benefits that having a diverse workforce has, not only on our business but on the creative industry and community as a whole. We’re proud to play even a small part in helping work towards that.

“Having met some of this year’s interns already, we can see so much potential waiting to be uncovered, and we’re really excited to witness the successes that will no doubt come out of this cohort.”

Alex Rife, The Collaborators:

“The Collaborators has always been about people first, so it’s natural that we want to help nurture young talent. We have a (borrowed) saying that “none of us is as smart as all of us”, so we’re excited to bring different perspectives into our business.

“We’re so grateful to Bristol Creative Industries and Babbasa for helping us to do this in a way that’s about driving real change in the wider creative industry, rather than feeling like a one-off tokenistic gesture. We’re delighted to be part of the programme and looking forward to getting to know this year’s cohort better.”

Abi Sargant, Taxi Studios:

“We are thrilled to be taking part in this year’s Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme, helping to shape a brighter future for the creative industries.

“We are looking forward to supporting our interns and nurturing their talent, all while gaining valuable insights and growing from the experience ourselves!”

Image credit: Big thanks to Sham Ahmed for capturing the brilliant images used in this post. Follow @shamphat on Instagram. 


About Bristol Creative Industries

Bristol Creative Industries is the membership network that supports the region's creative sector to learn, grow and connect, driven by the common belief that we can achieve more collectively than alone. 

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