WPP Africa Academy launched in South Africa

10 Feb 2016

Training initiative offers vocational education to marketing services professionals in WPP companies across Africa

JOHANNESBURG — WPP, the world’s largest communications services group, announced today the establishment of the WPP Africa Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa. The WPP Africa Academy is a talent development initiative enabling WPP companies across Africa access to high quality, relevant and cost-effective training programmes for their agency people.

To deliver this programme, which has been created in close collaboration with its agencies in the region, WPP is partnering with the Red & Yellow School of Logic and Magic in South Africa.

The curriculum offers a range of accredited skills development programmes, occupationally-directed courses and workshops. It is expected that nearly 600 candidates in WPP companies will be offered such training in 2016.

WPP’s commitment to Africa is longstanding. Through its agencies the group has had a presence in the region for over 80 years. The Group currently employs more than 30,000 people through its agencies and partners in South Africa alone, with offices in a further 20 countries across the continent.

Commenting on the initiative, Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, said “As in many other developing markets, African nations are facing a shortage of talent, particularly in the fields of marketing and communications. As the leading marketing services group in Africa and the world, WPP is committed to supporting the development of a professional and creatively-talented workforce in this sector. By fostering and developing the talent within our agencies, this initiative will provide our people, our businesses and ultimately our clients, with a competitive advantage.

Through the Academy, we will also encourage the advancement of skills and knowledge transfer in the industry as a whole. This will support the ‘transformation’ agenda of our companies and we believe greater economic benefits will flow through to the wider economies in which we are active as well.”

Alec Graham, a WPP global client operations director, who has led the creation of the WPP Africa Academy, said, “It is particularly appropriate that WPP is launching this important initiative to develop talent in the region. In doing so our agencies and our people will benefit and we contribute positively to the futures of our businesses and the wider societies in which they operate. For our companies in Africa, there are clear benefits to working together and harnessing our efforts on training and development across the WPP group. Collaboration enables us to offer the most appropriate high quality training to our teams in the African markets in the most effective and efficient manner. “

Lynne Mueller, Director of Worldwide Training at WPP, closely involved, said: "It is gratifying to see the launch of this talent development initiative that will fuel and sustain growth of our people and businesses across Africa. We are excited to continue evolving the Academy's offerings to complement the breadth of training offered by WPP and our agencies in all of our regions."

The WPP Africa Academy is WPP’s third education initiative globally, following earlier initiatives in China and India. In 2015, WPP in partnership with the Indian School of Design and Innovation (ISDI), launched the ISDI WPP School of Communication in Mumbai, creating India’s first professional 3-year undergraduate diploma program in communication. In 2011, WPP partnered with the Shanghai Arts and Design Academy (SADA) to establish the WPP School of Marketing and Communications in China.

For further information:
Alec Graham, WPP +44 7778 360745
Karl Haechler, Burson-Marsteller + 27 (0)11 480 8532
Chris Wade, WPP London + 44(0) 20 7408 2204

About WPP
WPP is the world’s largest communications services group with billings of US$76 billion and revenues of US$19 billion. Through its operating companies, the Group provides a comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services including advertising & media investment management; data investment management; public relations & public affairs; branding & identity; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing and specialist communications. The company employs over 190,000 people (including associates and investments) in over 3,000 offices across 112 countries. For more information, visit www.wpp.com.