Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme update: Opportunity knocks

29th September 2023

Clare Leczycki shares an update on the Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme.

We are just over halfway through the pilot year of the Bristol Create Industries Internship Programme, a scheme set up and funded by Bristol Creative Industries and and a group of members. It gives young people from under-represented backgrounds a chance to explore the different roles in the creative industries.

The programme, delivered in partnership with Babbasa as part of the #OurCity2030 initiative, provides interns with placements at two different agencies over a six-month period.  

It aims to:

  • Address two of our biggest challenges; a long-term skills shortage and a lack of diversity in the sector.  
  • Create access to paid internships, jobs and opportunities through our network. 
  • Inspire young people with the range of careers in the creative industries through role models and mentors. 
  • Support the participants to thrive in their careers through training and support and enabling employers to build inclusive cultures. 

Our interns switched placements this month and are now working in their second agency.  

During this process, several opportunities came up and we off-boarded three of the interns early. 

Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme

Seren Spooner was offered a job at Armadillo as a junior designer and decided to take the opportunity to move into full- time work.  

“As a graphic designer, I was initially unsure about going into client service, but quickly found that I really enjoyed it. Agency structure has been a highlight for me and being openminded about all the different roles and opportunities available within an agency has been really interesting. It has allowed me to see where my experience and skills can fit with an organisation like Armadillo.

“I really wouldn’t be anywhere without this programme; it has made the transition out of university so incredibly easy. To have a variety of roles put in front of you is amazing, and even though I won’t be changing my agency and role in the second part of the programme, as I was offered a full-time position, to have the opportunity to switch and learn new skills at a new company makes such an impact.

“The support that you get from your peers throughout the programme is also so impactful, we have all been there for each other throughout this process which has been amazing.”

Mohd Wani decided to go back into education to do a masters in UX at one of the most prestigious universities in the UK: 

“This programme has given me a new career path in an industry I never thought would be for me. By moving into UX design from graphic design, I can now see myself excelling more in this role than I ever could’ve imagined in graphic design.

“In four months on this programme working in UX, I can see more improvement in myself than in three years of training in graphic design.

“The work I have completed at Atomic Smash has helped me to secure a place at the Royal College of Art, which I will be starting later this year. But I have also been offered a full time by Atomic Smash when I finish my course, so I know my future is secure.

“The programme has taught me great networking skills, and different ways of talking to people. The skills sessions we do each week has also given me so many additional skills outside of my day-to-day job which are so valuable, and that is all thanks to this programme.

“The work I have done because of the programme and the skills that I now have, has helped me get rid of my past feelings of ‘I don’t belong here’, and now I know that I do.

“I would tell anyone thinking of joining the programme to just do it. It will give you so many different opportunities to find out what you are good at, what you are in to, and what your career path can be.”

Laurel Beckford is now working with Babbasa’s communications team:

 ”The BCI internship programme is one of the best out there for any individual looking to get their foot into the creative sector. The amount of support I have received is incredible and gives you so many opportunities to build up your skills.

“I was made aware of the programme through Babbasa and worked with them to help me with the process of getting in touch with BCI.

“Before I came on this programme, I didn’t know one thing about building a website, and now I can and have learnt so many skills.

“I have travelled to London with my agency, met clients face to face, and been involved in a photoshoot, which has been a real highlight.

“The BCI Internship programme can help anyone make their way into the creative sector and will give you the chance to do that.”

Whilst we are sad to be saying goodbye to some of the interns, we are incredibly excited to see opportunities created by the network and it’s brilliant to see the young people thrive and move onto the next stage of their career. We look forward to hearing more about how they are getting on in the coming months.

Other interns have also been offered jobs but have chosen to complete the internship programme, while some are exploring further training to hone their skills.

You can see the agencies currently involved in the progamme here.  

Interested in getting involved?

The pilot programme will finish at the end of November. We will then review and reflect on the learnings from the interns and participating agencies to see how the scheme can be further developed and expanded. We are particularly excited to be working more closely with the team at Babbasa to develop our onboarding and training processes for the next round.

Conversations for the 2024 Bristol Creative Industries Internship Programme has begun. If you run a creative business in Bristol and are interested in hearing more about how to get involved, contact BCI membership manager Alli Nicholas on [email protected]


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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