Machine has launched The Forge with the aim of addressing inclusion and diversity in the advertising and communications industry.

The initiative aims to find, mentor and grow young creative talent and equip them with the tools and skills necessary for a career as a copywriter. During the initial phase of The Forge, in partnership with the Red & Yellow Creative School of Business, the candidate will receive a full bursary sponsored by Machine to study an advanced diploma in copywriting in 2021.

Machine will then work closely with the selected student during the course of the year with a guaranteed paid internship in 2022 once they've graduated. The Forge will also aim to continue driving important conversations and initiatives in the industry throughout 2021.

PJ Eales, Machine's executive creative director and Forge co-founder, says that this is essential for addressing youth unemployment, representation and related issues in the industry.

"Machine recognises that when it comes to diversity and representation, our agency and the industry at large needs to do more. It's our collective responsibility to ensure that we have the right voices in the room and that those voices are being heard. That's why The Forge aims to find and nurture those voices from early on," adds Eales.

The Forge has indicated that it will embark on several major initiatives. One such initiative will be feeding live client briefs into various schools and higher education training programmes. This will not only help to create industry insight for the students but also give them invaluable work experience.

There will also be mentorship opportunities from selected members of the Machine team to students in other areas of the industry, including account management and brand strategy.

The agency says that, around the world, diversity and inclusion is finally getting the airtime it deserves within the advertising and communications industry. "Machine is driven by the same objective and seeks to pay it forward, growing diverse representation within the industry, while fostering sustainable careers. The Forge is the first step in achieving just that," says the agency.

All interested candidates can apply for The Forge bursary to study the diploma in 2021 by emailing their details to [email protected]

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