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Merlin announces partnership with Brixton Finishing School

Merlin Entertainments supports the south London enterprise hoping to increase diversity and inclusion in the creative industries

brixton finishing school billboard

Global attractions company Merlin Entertainments has announced a new partnership with the Brixton Finishing School (BFS). The School is on a “mission to disrupt the elite media and advertising industry”, finding and developing untapped creative talent from under-represented groups.

“The partnership is part of our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, and we’re excited to be the first attractions-based business to support their free 10-week programme for 18 to 25 year-olds!” Merlin recently announced.

The School offers ten weeks of free, full-time learning from powerhouses in the creative industries.

It gives the opportunity to gain digital skills and learn creative/critical thinking. It particularly seeks to reach ‘underrepresented’ groups, including multi-cultural, working class, female, and neurodiverse 18-25 year olds.

Combatting lack of diversity

“We are on a mission to create an inclusive ‘talent’ blueprint for our homogenous industry,” says Ally Owen, founder and director of the BFS.

“Without a diverse workforce, we’re not going to be able to successfully rebuild post-Covid-19. We need to protect and enrich our talent pipeline with a diversity of voices for employers in the future.”

Brixton finishing school

Sara Holt, Marketing Director for Merlin Entertainments Midway UK division says she was “blown away” by the enthusiasm of founder Ally Owen and her team and the really important work they do: “At Merlin we welcome the world to our attractions every day and it is incredibly important we reflect that same diverse mix inside our business too.”

Disrupting recruitment in the creative industries

“Our focus is on finding and developing untapped talent,” says the Brixton Finishing School website. “We don’t give out places based on work experience or qualifications. We want to make these roles feel accessible to anyone who has the talent and drive to succeed. We believe there is a huge pool of talent that needs to feel encouraged to pursue jobs in creative, digital, and tech industries, no matter what your background.”

Broadening Merlin’s outreach

Merlin Entertainments is well-known for thinking outside the box with regard to social and environmental issues.

Merlin’s Magic Wand charity offers ‘magic spells’ to help children facing serious illness, disability or adversity enjoy Merlin attractions.

Merlin adopted the SEA LIFE Trust as its marine charity and has created the world’s first open water beluga whale sanctuary in Iceland.

Images courtesy of Brixton Finishing School

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