New programme to help more than two million teenagers discover their creative futures

Creative industries leaders today joined forces to launch a new Creative Careers Programme designed to help 2 million teenagers discover the breadth of jobs on offer in the UK’s fastest-growing sector.

The programme will provide up-to-date information on the range of careers many young people have never even heard of and will train careers advisers about the pathways to those roles, helping a more diverse range of young people to take up the exciting opportunities available.

The ambition is to reach more than 160,000 students through face-to-face encounters by 2020, with around 2 million young people accessing information online.

The programme, delivered by ScreenSkills, Creative & Cultural Skills and the Creative Industries Federation in partnership with the Careers and Enterprise Company and Speakers for Schools, will be launched today (13 March) at the home of Burberry and the Burberry Foundation in Leeds.

The Creative Careers Programme’s launch coincides with the one year anniversary of the special creative industries “sector deal”, a part of the Government’s industrial strategy which was brokered through the Creative Industries Council to recognise the importance of the creative industries to the UK economy.

Careers opportunities in the creative industries are increasing daily, as employment in this sector grows three times faster than across the UK economy as a whole. Creative jobs are less likely to be replaced by robots, with 87% of creative occupations at low or no risk of automation. And there are urgent skills shortages, with the Creative Industries Council estimating that there are more than 77,000 positions in the sector currently vacant or requiring better skills.

Yet many young people (and those advising them) are unaware that they could use their creative skills in the workplace. One consequence is that 90% of creative industries jobs are currently occupied by more advantaged socio-economic groups.

It is intended that the Creative Careers Programme will encourage a much-needed cultural shift across the sector, with employers recognising the important role they can play in shaping and informing the careers advice on offer, as well as adopting more inclusive recruitment practices themselves so our workforce is truly open to all.

Alan Bishop, chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation, said of the Creative Careers Programme: "The success of the UK's creative industries has been built on the remarkable talents of those working in the sector. Opportunities for young people to use their creative skills are increasing every day as our sector continues to grow at a faster rate than the economy at large. We must act now to ensure that anyone, from any background, can access the information they need to discover what these opportunities are and how to pursue them. Creativity thrives through a multiplicity of different voices and perspectives, and it is the duty of all of us working in the creative industries to ensure that young people today are inspired to become part of the next generation of creative talent."

Creative & Cultural Skills chief executive, Dr Simon T Dancey, said: “Creative & Cultural Skills is delighted to be working in partnership with ScreenSkills and the Creative Industries Federation to help galvanise employers so they sit at the heart of developing and delivering high quality careers information. Not only do we need to help a wider range of young people learn about the variety of occupations across the creative industries, we must also help employers think a little differently about who and how they recruit new and diverse talent to help fill skills gaps, and ensure our sector can thrive for years to come.”

Seetha Kumar, CEO of ScreenSkills, the skills body for the UK’s screen industries, said:“Film, television and video games in the UK are already facing skills shortages reflecting the current production boom so we are very keen to explain the opportunities available. Many of these jobs are a mystery to the wider public yet provide truly exciting careers. The online careers information which is one strand of this programme will mean there is no geographical barrier to discovering our amazing sector. But we also urge employers to help us inspire the next generation by opening up their workplaces and helping share their expertise with schools and colleges in person.

Margot James MP, Minister of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport  said:"Our Creative Industries are one of the UK's fastest growing sectors. There are huge opportunities, and I want to see more young people from a range of backgrounds become inspired to pursue a creative career. Through our modern Industrial Strategy we are fuelling new and exciting roles for the next generation. The creative careers programme is an important milestone to help the sector become more diverse and fill the existing skills gaps."

The programme will:

  • Inspire young people aged 11-16 to discover the possible routes for pursuing careers in the creative industries and wider creative economy. This includes a national week in which hundreds of employers open their doors to young people
  • Ensure young people aged 14-24 who are considering their career options have access to the information and advice they need. This includes providing high quality information online and training senior volunteers from the creative industries to act as advisers in schools and colleges through The Careers & Enterprise Company*
  • Help employers to diversify their workforce and plug skills shortages by identifying the most urgently needed apprenticeship standards and fast-tracking their development.

With more than £12 million of industry in-kind support already pledged by industry, the Creative Careers Programme will mobilise organisations and individuals to work with schools and colleges to raise awareness of employment opportunities in the sector.

Creative industries professionals are being asked to get involved by:

  • Going into schools and colleges to talk to students about creative careers
  • Offering industry insight and advice to a local school or college by becoming an Enterprise Adviser*
  • Inviting young people into their businesses for hands-on experience of the world of work.

*The Careers & Enterprise Company connects schools and colleges with employers and careers programme providers. Enterprise Coordinators are trained professionals who work with clusters of 20 schools and colleges to build careers plans and make connections to local and national employers.  Enterprise Advisers are business volunteers who help local schools or colleges develop careers plans.

Notes to editor:
ScreenSkills, formerly known as Creative Skillset, is the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen industries - animation, film, games, television including children's TV and high-end drama, VFX and immersive technology. We work across the whole of the country to ensure that UK screen has access now, and in the future, to the skills and talent needed for continued success.

Creative & Cultural Skills gives young people opportunities to work and learn in the creative industries. We are an independent charity that provides careers advice and guidance, promotes apprenticeships, and delivers activities for young people through our National Skills Academy network of industry and education supporters. Since 2008, we‘ve created over 7,000 Creative Apprenticeships and provided over 5 million people with careers advice.

The Creative Industries Federation is the independent body which represents, champions and supports the prosperity of the UK’s creative industries. Through our unique network of member organisations, our influential policy and advocacy work and our UK-wide events programme we bring together the many sectors that comprise our world-leading creative industries. We are stronger together. Through the combined expertise of our members we ensure that our sector is at the heart of political, economic and social decision-making.

For further information:
Annie Lydford
Head of Communications and Marketing, Creative Industries Federation
annie@creativeindustriesfederation.com 07905 416 799

Louise Jury
Director of Communications and Marketing, ScreenSkills
louise.jury@screenskills.com 07771 598070


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